Changing Alimony or Child Support

Modification of Child Support or Alimony

Dothan alimony modification lawyers and child support modification lawyers representing clients in Dothan, Abbeville, Geneva, Ozark, Enterprise and all of Southeast Alabama

Your divorce is over.  The decree had an Order for alimony or child support.  You want to know if the amount of alimony or child support can be changed.  It can, in certain circumstances.  Modification of child support or alimony can happen if you can prove that there has been a material change of financial circumstances of the payor.

Modification of Alimony

The judge has ordered you to pay alimony to your ex, and now you are barely able to pay your monthly living expenses.  Can you reduce your monthly spousal support obligation?  Divorce judges often grant motions to decrease alimony in the event the payor can show a material change in their circumstances.  The most common change required would be the alimony payor has incurred a significant reduction in their income.

However, even with a significant reduction in income, some alimony cannot be lowered.  Alimony in gross cannot be reduced, even if the payor’s salary has been significant reduced.  This is because alimony in gross is usually considered part of the parties property settlement from the marital assets, and is not based upon the parties respective salaries.  On the other hand, periodic alimony is usually dependant on the payor’s financial ability to pay, and can therefore be lowered if that ability is diminished.

Just because your salary goes down temporarily doesn’t mean you automatically get to reduce your alimony payment.  The judge will examine whether the reduction is only temporary, or if the reduction was voluntary.  In those situations, the judge would likely deny any alimony modification.

Child Support Modification

You have primary physical custody of your children and your ex is paying you child support.  At the time it was Ordered, it was based upon their income, which you believe has now increased based upon a recent job promotion.  Can you ask the divorce court to increase the amount of child support you receive so your children can also benefit from your ex’s financial success?  Your ex should not be excluding their children from their recent increase in income.  Based on this logic, divorce judges regularly increase child support if they find a material change in financial circumstances, such as the child support payor obtaining a significant increase in salary.

Likewise, if the child support payor is laid off from their job, or otherwise suffers a decrease in income, the judge may also lower the amount of monthly child support owed.

If you are already divorced and are now seeking to have your alimony or child support order increased or decreased, contact our Dothan divorce attorneys at Parkman White, LLP for a case evaluation.