Alimony is a common part of many Alabama divorce agreements. However, it’s rare for alimony to be permanent. It’s generally included with an end date in mind, whether that be a specific date, when the other partner begins gainful employment, or when the other partner remarries.
If you think your spousal support payments should be decreased or canceled outright, you’ll need to either convince your ex-spouse or get the payments decreased in court. There are several ways you can go about this. Learn more about your legal options now by calling us at 251-990-3083.
A Change in Employment
A change in employment on either side may warrant a change in alimony. Consider this. You, as the person who pays spousal support, are laid off at work. You begin working in a matter of weeks, but you’re making 60% of what you used to make. In this situation, it would only be fair to ask for a decrease in spousal support. If you lose your job and cannot find anything to replace it, a temporary pause in spousal support may be appropriate.
The same is true if your ex-spouse starts working or significantly increases their income. Spousal support is meant to help your ex-spouse maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed when you were married. It is not meant to give them an exorbitant lifestyle while they make more than enough to support themselves. Note that it can be difficult to prove that your ex-partner is earning more. They may hide it from you or keep expensive purchases from you to avoid you asking about spousal support.
Changes in circumstances always warrant a review of your court order and your obligations. Consider a situation where you remarry. You and your new partner have twin babies. The cost of raising two young children is exorbitant, which may impact your ability to pay spousal support to your ex-partner. In a situation like this one, it may make sense to ask the court for a decrease in or end to payments.
You may also be able to ask for an end to spousal support if your ex-partner is remarried or living with a new partner. In the past, it was common for alimony to end only if the receiving party remarried. This led to many people living like they were married without actually getting married in order to keep spousal support coming. Now, many divorce degrees specify that spousal support ends if the receiving partner lives with someone else.
If Your Ex-Partner Doesn’t Need Support
It’s possible that your ex-spouse does not work but still does not need your financial support. Perhaps they have a trust fund, recently inherited a sizable amount of property, or have made a lot of money in the stock market. If they are able to provide for themselves, they should be doing so and you should be released from monthly spousal support payments.
Working It Out Without the Court
When you bring this up to your ex-partner, be prepared for some pushback. They are not in a rush to lose their monthly checks from you, so they may refuse to discuss the topic. However, it is in your best interest to negotiate this privately rather than dragging it through a court battle. If you leave it up to the court, you both lose all decision-making power.
Your attorney can help you bring up this topic with your ex-partner’s lawyer and work on negotiating a fair outcome. If you do have to go through court, be ready to come equipped with evidence showing that you really do deserve a decrease in or end to payments.
Discuss Your Family Law Needs with Coumanis & York
If you think you’re paying more spousal support than you should be, you’re not alone. Life changes quickly, and the amount that you paid last year may be unsustainable now. Luckily, you don’t have to go through negotiations alone. The team at Coumanis & York can help you explore your legal options. Set up a consultation with our team now by calling us at 251-990-3083 or .