Impact Of Cohabitation And Remarriage On Alimony
In most cases, alimony payments will be terminated if the receiving spouse gets remarried. The only exception to this rule is if the divorce order requires alimony to continue after remarriage. If no such provision is included, however, alimony will automatically terminate. Similarly, true cohabitationmeaning that two partners are now living together and acting as married couples do, rather than occasionally spending the nightcan also spell the end of alimony payments.
What Happens After A Modification Request
If you file a complaint requesting an alimony modification, you will receive a completed summons that you must ensure is appropriately delivered to the other party. If the relationship is amicable, the former spouse may agree to simply sign the summons with a notary public present, and you can return the signed form to the court. If the other party likely will object to the alimony modification, you will need to have a law enforcement officer in your county serve the summons to the individual your qualified alimony attorney can assist you with ensuring that the summons is served correctly.
After the summons has been served, the other party has 20 days to file documents answering the request for alimony modification. Your attorney will then assist you in requesting a court date, and youll request an uncontested trial if the other party does not file an answer to the modification request. If the individual does file an answer, your attorney will request a pre-trial conference to explain to the court the issues factoring into the modification request.
If the other party in your case requests the alimony modification, you may not know about the request until a sheriff or constable serves you with court papers. In this situation, youre the defendant and will have 20 days to file a response.
Do I Have The Right To Ask For My Alimony To Be Altered
The answer to whether or not alimony can be altered isit depends.
In most cases, alimony can absolutely be altered. But there are some cases where it cant. Thankfully, you would know if this was true for you.
Alimony can always be modified so long as you have not waived the right to ask for a change. A statement can be added to a divorce judgment to say that the spousal support provision is binding and, therefore, nonmodifiable.
Spousal support can only be made nonmodifiable in cases where the spouses have negotiated their own terms rather than have the court do so. The court is not allowed to make spousal support nonmodifiable, unless it is by agreement. So the court cannot, on its own, make spousal support nonmodifiable.
Its important to note that waiving the right to change spousal support goes both ways. Neither party is allowed to ask for a modification.
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Defining A Substantial Change In Circumstances
The most basic element of a substantial change in circumstances is for your income to have gone down. Perhaps you were downsized out of a job or maybe your company had to implement across-the-board salary reductions.
Another situation is if your company reduced or eliminated the share they were paying towards your health insurance. In that scenario, youre covering what was previously their share, with a lot less available for everything else.
A related possibility is the loss of financial assets. Lets say that in the divorce settlement you accepted a lower alimony payment in exchange for a greater share of the stock portfolio you and your spouse shared. Then the market went into a downturn and the stock you were counting on for retirement lost value. This, in turn, requires you to devote a greater portion of your salary into a 401. All of which leaves you with a lot less money to live day-to-day.
An increase in your justified expenses can also serve as the basis for requesting a boost in the alimony payment. Remember though, a court will want the increase to be substantial, and judges will tend to place a high bar on what they will consider substantial.
Alimony Modification In Tennessee Law
Modifying alimony in Tennessee divorce and family law to increase, decrease, or end alimony. Modifying alimony first requires proving a material change of circumstances to raise, reduce, lower, or terminate alimony.
Changing or Ending a Tennessee Alimony Obligation
Tennessee Alimony Modification Video
Alimony Modification in Tennessee by Memphis Divorce Lawyer Miles Mason, Sr.
Step One: What Type of Alimony Is at Issue?
Whether or not alimony in Tennessee may be modified or terminated depends on the type of alimony that has been awarded. In addition, how the alimony was specifically worded can matter a great deal. The four types of alimony are alimony in futuro , alimony in solido, rehabilitative alimony, and transitional alimony. In general, only alimony in futuro and rehabilitative alimony can be modified.
Modifying Tennessee Alimony Law
Definitely see a lawyer about answers to questions about your specific type of alimony. Plus, alimony modification law evolves over time and could be substantially different in between the time this was written and you read it.
Step Two: Substantial and Material Change of Circumstances
Step Three: How Much Will the Tennessee Alimony Modification Be?
If unforeseen change of circumstances is proven, before changing the amount owed, courts are directed to apply the same factors used when making the initial alimony award. These alimony factors are the following:
1 T.C.A. § 36-5-101 Bogan v. Bogan, 60 S.W.3d 721, 727-28 .
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Modifying Alimony In Connecticut
Years after divorce, it is not uncommon for ex-spouses to have to revisit certain terms of the divorce agreement. Alimony is something that often needs modifying, especially if an ex-spouse loses a significant amount of income or shifts careers. Sudden and severe economic downturns often lead to a spike in alimony modification requests as many individuals are laid off, furloughed, or have their working hours reduced. Other circumstances that might warrant a modification to alimony include a new chronic illness or medical condition, or retirement. Make no mistake, modifying alimony is almost never straight forward. We discuss an example below to illustrate some common pitfalls.
The Law Regarding Alimony Modifications
Ways to Modify Alimony
Show the court that you experienced a significant change in circumstances since the alimony order was created or last modified. To determine whether you experienced a substantial change, the judge will look at your financial situation when alimony was last ordered and compare it to your current situation.
The alimony recipient may also lose the right to payments if he or she remarries or begins living with a roommate and the recipient no longer has the same needs for alimony as when it was last ordered.
Example of Pitfalls
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Contact A Houston Family Lawyer
Do you think you have a case for reduced or increased alimony? If so, you need a skilled Houston family attorney to convince the court.
At The Larson Law Office, we provide personalized, passionate representation to each client. Well evaluate your circumstances and advise you on whether pursuing an alimony change is worth it. Then, well fight for your interests, working to secure fair spousal maintenance payments.
Contact us today for a consultation to get to know us and ask any questions.
Thefisher V Fisher Decision
A 2008 Ontario Court of Appeal decision,Fisher v Fisher dealt with support in the case of a marriage lasting 19 years. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the trial judge, who used the Guidelines to determine spousal support but concluded that any economic disadvantage suffered by Mrs. Fisher as a result of the marriage was not sufficient to warrant indefinite support. Mrs. Fisher was awarded 7 years of spousal support for her 19 year marriage.
Despite the long marriage, Mrs. Fisher did not meet either the 20-year threshold or the Rule of 65. The Court of Appeal made the following observations:Indefinite support is appropriate after a long-term marriage because the dependent spouse is often of an age that makes it difficult to achieve economic self-sufficiencyEven though this marriage was lengthy the trial judge decided that an indefinite order was not appropriate. In making this determination, the trial judge considered the appellants employment position and relative youth. There were no children of the marriage, and Mrs. Fisher was only 41, had worked periodically throughout the marriage, and was employable.
If youve been married for 20 years or more or may fit the Rule of 65, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities as they relate to spousal support. Call 581-7222 to learn how an Ontario family lawyer can assist you.
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Properly Requesting A Modification
Too many people begin to struggle financially and simply stop making spousal support payments. This is a mistake, as not complying with your support order without permission from the court can have serious consequences, including being held in contempt of court and facing other penalties.
Instead, as soon as you believe that your or your spouses changed circumstances might warrant a downward modification of your support payments, you should contact a California divorce attorney. A lawyer will evaluate whether you have a strong case for a modification, work to help with out-of-court negotiations, as well as petition the court and present a persuasive case on your behalf when needed.
- 1370 Brea Blvd., Suite 232, Fullerton, CA 92835
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How Do I Change The Amount Of Alimony Ordered In My Divorce Settlement In Houston
A court will consider changing spousal maintenance payments if there is a material and substantial change in circumstances. For instance, if the spouse who receives support receives a promotion, their higher income may lead to a decreased need for alimony.
Some circumstances cause alimony payments to discontinue. For example, payments should stop in these circumstances:
- Either spouse dies,
- The spouse receiving alimony remarries, or
- The spouse receiving alimony lives with a romantic partner.
So, Can you modify alimony in Texas? Yes, but never stop alimony payments without a court order. If you believe circumstances have changed and you want to alter your alimony payment, contact an experienced attorney.
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How Does The Court Decide If A Spouse Lacks Earning Ability To Provide For His Or Her Minimum Reasonable Needs
The Court will consider all the relevant factors, such as:
- Financial resources available to each party once their property is divided by the court,
- The education and employment skills of the spouses,
- The time necessary to obtain sufficient education or training to enable the spouse to earn sufficient income, and
- The availability and feasibility of such training.
The Court will also look at factors such as the duration of the marriage, the spouses health and age, and how the spouses treated each other. The Court will make a decision on spousal maintenance based on the above factors and anything else that might be important.
The spouse seeking spousal maintenance will also have to demonstrate that he or she has diligently searched for employment, training, and educational opportunities. The due diligence requirement does not apply in cases where the Affidavit of Support is being enforced.
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Your Income Has Gone Down
- After losing a job you found reemployment but at a much lower salary.
- You have sales related employment but because of market forces sales have declined and your income has dropped as well.
- You have sales related employment but youve gotten older. Your sales referral network has started to retire and your ability to generate sales has decreased.
- Your physical health has declined and your ability to generate income has decreased as a result.
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Q: My Spouse Claims To Be Disabled Is There Anything I Can Do About This
Yes oftentimes non-specific disability claims for stress or depression are a central reason the ex-spouse says they cant return to work. There may be a valid disability, but it may only impact certain job fields, leaving open the possibility of employment in another industry. For instance, someone with a back injury may not be able to work in construction or in a warehouse, but can do so at a computer terminal or desk.
In many cases, an Independent Medical Evaluation is recommended. Once the IME is completed, a licensed vocational counselor makes suggestions as to what type of employment is available, with respect to the persons limitations.
Changing An Alimony Order
Many people who have successfully gone through a divorce wonder if they can eventually change an alimony order. The truth is that you may or may not be able to change an alimony order. To convince a judge, you will have to prove that you have experienced a significant change in your situation.
The first step in this process is to assess whether you have experienced what the court considers a significant change. Some examples can involve a sudden drop in income, job loss, or promotion at work. Talking to a lawyer about your situation before taking the next step can help you figure out whether you would qualify.
Once this is figured out, you will need to file a request to modify the order to the court. The trick, other than convincing the judge, is that you and your spouse will need to agree on this new alimony order. To finalize the order, you both need to provide a signature.
Some people wonder what happens to alimony if they remarry. In most cases, remarriage gives your ex-spouse a sufficient reason to end alimony payments. The logic is that if you remarry, you will likely be receiving additional income and will no longer need financial assistance from your former spouse. However, this varies depending on the circumstances.
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Do I Need An Attorney To Handle My Changing Alimony Issue
Yes, it is essential to have the assistance of an experienced family lawyer for any issues you may have with changing your alimony. If you need to increase the amount of alimony you receive because your financial circumstances have changed, your attorney can help present your case to the court. They are generally your best chance at getting the extra money you need to get back on your feet.
If you are trying to defend against your ex-spouse who is requesting an increase in alimony payments, an attorney is your best chance at keeping your alimony payments as they are. It is important to note that, if you have requested a modification of the alimony payments, you must continue making payments at the current rate until the court orders a modification. Your attorney is best equipped to present evidence to the court as to why the payments should remain as they are.
Modification Of Alimony Awards
Courts also have varying ways of administering these modifications. In California:
âa support order may be modified or terminated at any time as the court determines to be necessary.â – See Cal. Fam. Code Â§ 3651 .
“Furthermore, An order made pursuant to this chapter may be modified or terminated at any time except as to an amount that accrued before the date of the filing of the notice of motion or order to show cause to modify or terminate.” -See Cal. Fam. Code Â§ 3603 .
In considering whether to modify or terminate an alimony award, the court once again looks at the ability to pay vis-Ã -vis the needs of the recipient. Often, the need for a decrease in the alimony award stems from a loss of employment. Conversely, there could be a need to increase an alimony award if the recipient becomes disabled and is not able to work.
EXAMPLE: Jason was a highly paid CEO who lived in California. When he divorced Sonia, he was ordered to pay a significant amount of alimony to her. After some soul searching, Jason decided he no longer wanted to work as a CEO. Rather, he quit his job to enter a monastery, thereby giving up his substantial salary. When he went back to court to request termination of his alimony obligation, the court agreed, even though his resignation and change of lifestyle were voluntary. See, e.g., In re Marriage of Meegan, 11 Cal. App. 4th 156 .
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How Does A Change In Need Affect The Length Of Alimony
Just as ability to pay can impact alimony, so can need. Need refers to the person who receives support and their need for ongoing support. The following are a few common examples of events that can impact need:
- The receiving spouses increase in income,
- The receiving spouses cohabitation with a non-marital partner,
- The receiving spouses reduced living expenses, or
- The receiving spouses acquisition of assets which reduce or eliminate a need for ongoing alimony. We sometimes see this in situations where the receiving spouse receives an inheritance.
The above are not the only events that can impact need.
All of these can have an impact on how long a person has to pay alimony after a divorce. If a receiving spouses need decreases or is eliminated, the spouse who pays alimony may proceed to court and seek a modification.
Again, that modification may be a reduction in alimony, placing alimony at zero or even terminating the courts power to order further alimony.
And once again, whether the marriage was of a short-term or long-term duration can have an impact in what direction the court goes.
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