Alimony, child support modifications when ex goes on welfare

Divorce attorney Jason BowmanQuestion:

Per my divorce decree, I pay $10,000 a year in child support and alimony for 10 years. I’ve heard if my ex-wife goes on welfare, the courts would come after me to pay more since it would mean I wasn’t providing enough support for her.

Can the courts increase my support and alimony payments if she goes on welfare?


First let me preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed to practice law in the state of New York, so you should consult an attorney who is licensed in New York to receive specific answers to your question.

I don’t usually handle situations that involve someone’s ability to go on welfare and I don’t know the qualifications to receive aid, but I don’t see how it is possible for someone who receives all that support to qualify for welfare. In the state I practice and many other states, the divorce agreement is binding on the parties and usually can’t be modified except in rare circumstances.

Your ex-wife agreed to this amount of support and unless her circumstances have dramatically changed from the time that you entered into the agreement, Courts in most states would not modify any award of support to an ex-spouse.

You should seek the advice of an attorney who is licensed in New York to see what your options and liabilities will be if your wife goes on welfare and if she qualifies.


Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kent., office of Cordell & Cordell. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.


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One comment on “Alimony, child support modifications when ex goes on welfare

    No ur child support will not go up however her child support will be taken by the state since it is considered income or she may be denied welfare $10000 is not enough money to be disqulified from tanf snaps or any other government subsidy. So she will receive child support in addition to welfare. To answer ur question no ur child support will not go up.

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