Once awarded, can an alimony order ever be adjusted?

Once awarded, can an alimony order ever be adjusted?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2019 | Firm News |

When going through a divorce in the state of Wyoming, one spouse may qualify to receive spousal support as part of the final settlement. The how much and for how long can either be figured out through private negotiations or a judge can decide the precise alimony terms. One question a lot of people have following the creation of an alimony order is: Is it adjustable or is it set in stone?

The simple answer to this question is, yes, it may be adjusted. Of course, nothing about divorce or the law is really ever simple. There has to be a good reason to request a modification, and there are no guarantees that your request will receive approval.

Qualifying reasons to alimony adjustment

Generally speaking, there are two reasons why the courts would consider granting an alimony modification request. Those are:

  • Either party experienced an increase in living expenses
  • Either party experienced a significant change in circumstances

Now, it is possible for former spouses to attempt to negotiate modified terms on their own. Anyone who goes that route would be wise to get the new agreement in writing and submit it to court for approval. That way, it is enforceable. Those who cannot come to new terms may need to take the matter to court.

Raise in overall living expenses

If you or your ex experience a rise in overall living expenses, you or they may want to increase or decrease the support amount owed — depending on who is the payor or payee. If your divorce settlement contains a cost of living clause, adjustments can happen without having to seek an official modification. If it does not have a COLA clause, it is necessary to negotiate new terms or seek a new order.

Change in financial or personal circumstances

Life is unpredictable. People experience loss of income, they become disabled, they get remarried or enter long-term relationships — among various other things. There are reasons why an alimony order may prove insufficient. If you can show you’ve experienced a qualifying change in circumstances, you may have your support order modified, either temporarily or permanently.

Post-decree modifications are hard to come by

Seeking an alimony modification seems like it would be pretty straightforward. The truth is, it may not be. As previously stated, there are never any guarantees that your request will receive approval, even if you think you meet all of the necessary qualifications for the adjustment. Thankfully, the fight for a change in support is not one you have to tackle alone. With the right assistance, you may be able to negotiate new terms out or court or successfully litigate the matter.