To alter the amount of spousal support that a former partner must pay, whether an upward or downward change, a person would need to file a petition to modify the amount of the prior award. There must be a significant change in circumstances to warrant a spousal support modification, which could entail changes in either partner’s financial situations. Often, the paying spouse’s income or financial circumstances have decreased since the original award, and they are seeking a downward modification of their support obligation. Sometimes the recipient is aware that the paying spouse’s circumstances have changed for the better and they wish to obtain an upward adjustment, but this is typically not as successful. For understanding the process of modifying spousal support in Atlanta, it is best to learn more from a qualified attorney from Marple Rubin Family Law.
When determining spousal support payments, an Atlanta court can only change the amount that is to be paid. The tribunal can increase it, decrease it, or keep it the same but cannot change the length of the payment period. For example, if parties agreed for 60 months of payments, a judge may not extend or shorten that the length of the term. They can only change the amount that is paid when modifying spousal support in Atlanta.
Most settlement agreements which include alimony provisions will define the duration of spousal support payments. It may state a duration in terms of months or years up to a certain time period or feature a caveat for termination upon a party’s death, remarriage, or other factors that the parties agree upon. In some cases, they agree to terminate support if one of them starts earning more than a certain amount per year. There would need to be some verification mechanisms in place for such circumstances, but it can happen.
The payor can stop spousal support payments in several circumstances. Depending on what the parties agreed to or the judge ordered, a paying party may stop paying spousal support when the recipient passes away. However, spousal support does not always end if the paying spouse dies, as Atlanta courts can order the paying spouse to maintain life insurance to cover their passing. Additionally, a recipient who remarries may also trigger the termination of their spousal support. Even a former spouse who houses a partner without marrying them could risk losing their support payments if the payor seeks termination based on that factor.
To request a change in spousal support payments before a judge, there generally has to be a significant change in a person’s income or overall financial circumstances since the last order went into effect. For example, a former spouse who is laid off and obtains a lower-paying job may be unable to continue fulfilling their obligation. Furthermore, a person’s income may gain multiple facets such as a salary, bonuses, and other factors outside their control that were not available while calculating the prior support amount.
Parties whose circumstances have not changed are unlikely to qualify for a modification. If neither party has passed away, remarried, or found a meretricious relationship, then there would be no grounds for modifying spousal support in Atlanta.
Retaining a family law attorney who is familiar with relevant statutes and the hurdles a claimant may encounter could be substantially beneficial when modifying spousal support in Atlanta. Qualified legal counsel could help a paying or receiving spouse analyze their likelihood of success based on the facts of their case. To have your circumstances reviewed and evaluated by a legal professional, call today and schedule an initial consultation.