Paying spousal support may create feelings of frustration that you have to continue to support someone you no longer desire to have a relationship with. Depending on your settlement, you may need to continue to pay your ex for the foreseeable future.
Sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances that may impact your ability or reasoning to continue paying. Knowing when to pursue a modification can help you determine your next steps.
Inability to pay
Life can throw unpredictable challenges your way when you least expect it. Costly medical bills, sudden disability, job loss and even a bad investment may all rock your financial stability. In situations such as this, you may no longer have the means to sustain the spousal support payments you need to make. According to the Judicial Branch of California, alimony or spousal support should help your ex cover monthly expenses. However, in times of dire need, you may need every penny of your income to sustain your own needs.
Requesting a modification, even if only temporary, can help you avoid the consequences of non-payment. In ideal situations, you may even have the chance to permanently reduce how much you owe.
Changes to income
Another reason to request a spousal support modification is if you know your ex has remarried. A subsequent marriage may mean your ex now has additional income that may supplement the money you pay each month. Similarly, if you know your ex has received a substantial income increase by way of a new job or a promotion, you may also consider pursuing a modification.
Even though courts recommend spousal support to level the playing field, life changes may impact its necessity. Working with an attorney, you can determine if a modification is worth pursuing.