It is up to a judge to determine whether a spouse qualifies for spousal maintenance support payments. The amount of spousal maintenance ordered by a judge will be based on a variety of statutory factors if a spouse proves that he or she is qualified to request alimony. If a spouse cannot prove that they qualify as eligible for maintenance under the law, the factors for how much support and how long it should last are never even considered. State law gives either spouse the right to request their alimony be modified if there has been a significant change in either of their financial circumstances and if the original agreement was modifiable.
You should consult with a Scottsdale spousal maintenance modification lawyer for help with filing or responding to a petition to modify alimony payments. As long as the original order for spousal maintenance was specifically modifiable, you can seek changes to spousal maintenance by filing a petition for a modification based upon a significant, unanticipated, and ongoing change in circumstances with the help of a well-versed attorney.
Changes in Financial Circumstances
A court decree ordering the payment of spousal maintenance is not set in stone. Alimony payments can be altered if the circumstances of any of the involved parties substantially changes.
Qualifying circumstances which may warrant a spousal maintenance modification include:
- Any involuntary loss of income
- Medical emergency
- Economic changes or changes in employment
- An injury or illness that effects the ability to work and earn money
- Co-habitation or inheritance of the receiving spouse
It is important to keep in mind that changes to spousal maintenance do not happen automatically. For an alimony order to be modified, one of the spouses must file a petition and demonstrate that a substantial, unanticipated, and ongoing change in circumstances has taken place for at least one party.
The other spouse will be given the opportunity to present evidence in support of their position. A Scottsdale alimony modification attorney could help make this process easier by advising you on what to expect from court proceedings.
Types of Spousal Maintenance
Getting divorced or separated does not necessarily mean that one of the spouses will be required to pay alimony indefinitely. Temporary spousal support, or pendente lite, would only remain in effect during divorce proceedings.
Permanent spousal maintenance is rarely awarded and is generally reserved for situations where one spouse has little-to-no earning power as a result of age or disability. Permanent alimony payments can be modified or terminated if the receiving spouse obtains assets through inheritance or another source.
Rehabilitative alimony is by far the most common form of spousal support. It is designed to support the receiving spouse until they are able to obtain the education or training they need to provide for themselves. It can, however, be modified or terminated if the receiving spouse does not attempt to improve their earning capacity.
Compensatory spousal maintenance is meant to reimburse a spouse for their contribution to the other’s career advancement or education during their marriage. It generally can be modified or terminated upon a showing of a significant change in circumstances. Not all family law attorneys have experience with modifications or terminations of spousal maintenance orders. Fortunately, we do. One of our experienced spousal support alteration lawyers in Scottsdale could help you pursue any of these options and assist in negotiating an amount that adequately meets your needs.
Learn More from a Scottsdale Spousal Maintenance Modification Attorney
A significant change in circumstances may warrant one spouse to modify a spousal maintenance order. It can, however, be a complex legal process which requires both sides to seek legal representation. You should contact a Scottsdale spousal maintenance modification lawyer for more information about your legal rights and options as they pertain to your specific circumstances.