By Rebecca Ripley
Baltimore Divorce Lawyer, Cordell & Cordell
The order should state whether or not the amount of alimony is “modifiable.” If the order awarded non-modifiable support, unfortunately, it usually is non-modifiable unless a state statute requires something in addition to that language.
Some awards of alimony are for a specific amount for a limited duration and are not typically modifiable. Sometimes alimony is ordered to be paid until one of several events occurs.
Typically, those events are:
1.) the death of the supporting spouse;
2.) the death of the dependent spouse; or
3.) the remarriage or cohabitation of the dependent spouse.
This kind of alimony can normally be modified based on a change of circumstances of the parties.
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A change is circumstances would be an event which takes place after the original award of spousal support that alters the financial standing and/or income of either party. For instance a change of circumstances could be caused by going into retirement or getting laid off.
Unfortunately, many alimony payors are out of work due to the current economic struggles. If you are unemployed and would like to modify alimony you need to be prepared with specific facts and documentary evidence to show your inability to pay – paystubs, testimony from a vocational expert that you are not voluntarily un- or under-employed, financial statements from an account, etc.
The standard for alimony modification varies by state, and the likely success by the temperament of the judge.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.