Whether you pay alimony or receive it, it likely plays a critical role in your finances. Generally, alimony – or spousal maintenance – orders are set for an amount and duration that stays in place until the order plays out. There are, however, some instances in which an alimony order can be changed post-divorce. If you believe your alimony orders may be eligible for a modification, turn to the skilled legal guidance of an experienced San Antonio family lawyer.
A Material and Substantial Change
If you or your ex experiences a material and substantial change in your finances or situation, the court will consider modifying the terms of your alimony. This isn’t an appeal or an opportunity to relitigate the matter. Only if one of you – or both of you – has experienced a material and substantial change in your situation will the court consider a modification. Common examples include:
- The person paying alimony is now earning considerably more money or has considerably fewer expenses than they did when alimony was calculated.
- The person paying alimony is now earning considerably less money or has considerably more expenses than they did when alimony was calculated.
- The person receiving alimony is now earning considerably more money than they did when alimony was calculated.
If the court determines that the ex who is paying alimony is voluntarily underemployed, it is very unlikely to reduce the alimony amount.
The Recipient Remarries
When the person who receives the alimony payments marries or moves in with a romantic partner, it alters the obligation of the spouse who pays alimony. For example, if you’re receiving alimony and you remarry, it automatically ends your ex’s legal obligation to make the payments, and there is no need for them to obtain a modification. As the recipient of alimony, you are obligated to let your ex know if you remarry.
The Recipient Moves in with a Romantic Partner
If you are living with a new romantic partner, however, your ex can seek a modification based on the financial support your new partner provides. The court is looking for what it calls supportive relationships, which include qualities that are marriage-like, such as living with one another and combining assets. In such circumstances, alimony can end – just like it would if you remarried. The court’s decision on the matter will be based on its assessment of the unique circumstances of your case.
Reach Out to an Experienced San Antonio Family Lawyer Today
Alimony can be an important financial tool for the recipient, and while alimony generally continues for the duration set in the original divorce decree, there are instances when it is modified after divorce. The seasoned San Antonio family lawyers at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda appreciate the significance of alimony in your life and are committed to skillfully advocating for a modification that supports your financial rights. Learn more about what we can do to help you by contacting us online or calling us at 210-222-9132 today.