In order for a spouse to get the amount of alimony he or she has to pay his or her ex reduced, it often requires him or her to show that he or she experienced a decrease in the amount of pay brought in on a regular basis. In contrast, for a recipient spouse, he or she may be able to request a judge to modify the amount of spousal support that he or she receives based on increased need for more.
While some requests for either increases or decreases in spousal support can be worked out among the couple themselves without involving a judge, this is a dangerous road to go down. One of the most glaring complications associated with doing this is that any agreement not approved by a judge risks being deemed not to be enforceable.
If a clause allowing for a cost of living adjustment is written into your divorce decree, then the alimony that you are paid automatically increases relevant to your cost of living on an annualized basis. If this clause was included in your original decree, then it will make requesting a modification of spousal support much easier.
Another clause, this time an escalator one, might also result in variable alimony payments. The way this type of spousal support works is that, as your ex's income goes up, so to do your earnings. In situations involving escalator clauses, it's possible for temporary financial hardships, like an illness or loss of a job, to put support payments on hold for some time.
Other situations in which you may request an increase in alimony payments is if your ex's income goes up, a financial emergency arises or state law respective to spousal support changes. Requests for reductions in payments may be made in instances in which the recipient spouse begins living with someone else, it can be documented that he or she no longer necessitates the support or if the obligor becomes disabled.
If you're considering requesting a modification of spousal support, then a Ft. Myers, Florida, divorce attorney can provide guidance in your legal matter.
Source: Live About, "4 Reasons to request a modification of alimony," Cathy Meyer, accessed Nov. 17, 2017