Spousal maintenance is a court-ordered sum of money paid from one ex-spouse to another for a certain period of time. Generally, spousal maintenance ends when the original term of support expires, the receiving spouse remarries, upon the death of either party, or if the paying spouse seeks a modification of spousal maintenance to end payments sooner than the original term because of changed circumstances. A spousal maintenance decree in Mesa can be modified if there has been a substantial, unanticipated, and continuing change in either party’s circumstances.
Modifying spousal maintenance is not an easy thing to do, and the burden of proof is on the spouse seeking the modification. A receiving spouse may ask for a modification seeking more monthly income because of a change in needs. A paying spouse may seek a modification of maintenance to a former spouse based on a lack of income or increase in expenses.
Regardless of your position, an attorney with experience regarding spousal maintenance modifications should be involved in your action. You can receive full representation or legal coaching from a dedicated Mesa spousal maintenance modification lawyer.
When Spousal Maintenance Can Be Modified
Superior Courts in Maricopa County in Mesa have exclusive and continuing jurisdiction over local spousal maintenance decrees that were secured or registered in a local courthouse. At the request of either party, the court can hear an action to change an alimony order upon the filing of a petition that alleges the proper substantial, unanticipated change in circumstances.
For example, the paying spouse may ask to have their spousal maintenance payments reduced as a result of any of the following:
- Job loss
- Job demotion or other involuntary pay decrease
- Physical disability or impairment
- Serious illness
To prove you experienced an unanticipated and involuntary change in circumstances, you and your Mesa alimony modifications attorney will examine the evidence and the facts to prove your case. Some of that work entails compiling medical documents or those which detail your changes in income.
How to Begin the Modification Process
Modifying spousal maintenance can be a difficult process without qualified legal counsel. As with many family matters that find their way into the local court system, modifying alimony necessitates the completion of many different pleadings and legal documents. Completing these documents correctly is essential to filing a request to modify alimony payments, and if you are defending against a claim to reduce your alimony, you need a lawyer who can attack the arguments and documents submitted by your ex-spouse.
The required legal documents to begin include but are not necessarily limited to the following:
- Petition to Modify Support Order
- Order to Appear
- Affidavit of Financial Information
- Current Employer Information Sheet
Fortunately, a spousal maintenance alteration lawyer in Mesa could help you identify which legal procedures would be required in your specific situation.
Additionally, mediation could also help two ex-spouses discuss spousal support modifications by placing them in a controlled environment with a neutral mediator. Mediation offers you an opportunity to work out a new alimony agreement without leaving the matter to the discretion of a judge. This can be an effective cost- and time-saving alternative to contentious court litigation.
Contact a Mesa Spousal Maintenance Modifications Attorney Today
Spousal maintenance or alimony can be changed if one party to the agreement can show that there has been a significant change in their circumstances which warrants legally binding alterations.
A diligent Mesa spousal maintenance modification lawyer from our team could help you gather evidence to demonstrate your qualifying circumstances and petition a local court for changes on your behalf. Contact our firm today for information on how you may go about changing your alimony order.