Not everything decided in your divorce is made to last, and if your financial circumstances change, it might warrant a court-ordered modification to your spousal support payments. Spousal support is designed to lend financial support to the lesser-earning ex-spouse so that he or she may enjoy the same standard of living they once had during their marriage. However, these support payments are rarely built to last, especially as life and circumstances change. Whether you receive spousal support or pay it, if you’ve undergone a significant circumstantial change, you might be eligible to pursue a legal modification.
About Family Law Modifications
As previously stated, not all family court orders are made to last. After your divorce, things were fresh and new, and you likely had no idea what other changes might follow. However, when finances change, job opportunities call, or personal attachments become more serious, these substantial alterations can make modifications to child custody, child support, or spousal support necessary.
It is crucial to remember that all modifications must be legally binding. Just because you are unable to pay does not mean you are able to make a modification for yourself, you must have the change approved and backed by the court. Even if you and your ex-spouse are able to meet and agree to a new alimony arrangement, you should always have that agreement in writing and officially changed by the court before you implement any changes. If your ex-spouse changes his or her mind or forgets about the terms you agreed to, you, the paying party, could face serious legal consequences.
Factors That Warrant a Modification
Depending on whether you wish to seek a modification for child support, child custody, or spousal support, the qualifications may vary. When an individual wishes to modify what they provide or receive in alimony, however, most of the factors are financial, but not all. According to Nevada law, a drastic change in circumstances could warrant a court-ordered modification.
Spousal support may be modified in any of the following circumstances:
- The financial condition of either spouse changes
- The income of either spouse changes, including job loss
- Either spouse’s mental or physical health alters
- Either spouse liquidates assets
- Real estate is sold
In some instances, alimony payments may be stopped altogether. If either spouse remarries, or if the paying spouse encounters a serious decrease in income, they may no longer be obligated to make payments.
The Modification Process
If you wish to modify your alimony payments, it is of the utmost importance that you handle the issue accordingly. First, discuss your situation with your attorney. An experienced divorce attorney can analyze your situation and determine whether or not you have grounds more a modification. Next, your attorney can file a petition to the court and work to obtain the modification you require. This same process stands whether you receive alimony payments or make them to your ex-spouse.
Failing to make alimony payments is a serious problem that could result in severe repercussions. Alimony payments are court-orders, and disobeying a court order is illegal. To avoid any issues of this sort, make sure you follow the proper process with an experienced family law attorney at your side.
Contact Ford & Friedman today to discuss your case with our Henderson divorce attorney.