Can Alimony Be Increased After Divorce or Separation?

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By Divorce & Finance

Can alimony be increased after divorce?” is a question that often arises among married couples considering severing their marital ties. Indeed, divorce is a major life event that can have significant financial implications for both parties.

Can alimony be increased after divorce or separation

The supported spouse may sometimes consider petitioning for increased alimony if their financial situation has deteriorated since the last divorce order.

This article explores the possibility of having alimony increased by the court after a divorce and the circumstances under which a family court can order an increase.

Can Alimony Be Increased After Divorce Through a Court Order?

Alimony can be increased after divorce through a court order. Courts can indeed modify alimony payments upwards if there’s been a significant change in circumstances. When considering whether to increase alimony, courts consider various factors, such as the divorce settlement terms or order.

Generally, the court can modify the spousal support order and request an increase if the supported spouse can demonstrate a substantial change in their financial circumstances since the divorce. For example, if the recipient spouse loses their job, becomes ill, or has unexpected medical expenses, they may be eligible for increased alimony.

The court will consider several factors, including the current financial situation of both parties, the supported spouse’s financial needs, and the paying spouse’s ability to pay more spousal support. Remember that a court can’t order an alimony increase for frivolous reasons or if the recipient’s financial need is unjustified. Moreover, the paying spouse has the right to contest the request for an increase in alimony if they believe the recipient’s financial situation does not warrant it.

What Circumstances May Warrant an Alimony Increase After Divorce?

Circumstances that may warrant an alimony increase after divorce include significant changes in an ex-spouse’s life since the last divorce order. Such changes may include a job loss or change in employment, illness, or disability, leading to a tougher financial situation.

What circumstances may warrant an alimony increase after divorce

– Job Loss or Reduction in Income

In most cases, a job loss will result in an income reduction that often leaves an individual in a tough financial spot. If your job loss was unexpected, you could be eligible to request an increase in alimony.

That’s because the original alimony order was based on your prior income, and the job loss may affect your ability to maintain your standard of living. The court could consider the circumstances leading to the job loss, such as whether it was voluntary or involuntary and whether the recipient spouse has made a good faith effort to find new employment.

– Health Problems or Long-term Disability

A recipient spouse who experiences a significant health problem or loses their ability to support themselves financially due to a long-term disability after the divorce may be eligible to receive alimony increase. Such an increase would be warranted as they would need extra financial help to cover their medical bills, living expenses, and other costs associated with their condition.

The court may consider the nature and severity of the illness or disability and its impact on the recipient spouse’s ability to work and earn an income. If the illness or disability impedes their ability to become financially independent, the court will likely order an increase in alimony.

– Increase in Living Expenses

Financial hardship resulting from a significant increase in their cost of living could be a valid reason to petition the court to increase alimony payments. If granted, they would be in a better financial position to cope with the increase in housing costs, healthcare expenses, or other essential living expenses.

The court will evaluate the cited reasons for the increased living expenses. Before deciding whether or not to increase alimony, it will also consider whether the recipient spouse has made sufficient efforts to reduce their living expenses.

Unlike child support, most states have no divorce alimony calculator, and courts have broad discretion in deciding the amount of alimony payable to the recipient party. Courts will also use their discretion in deciding whether an increase in alimony is warranted, and it’s essential to work with your family lawyer if you’re considering requesting an increase in alimony.

What Do Courts Consider When Granting an Increased Alimony After Divorce?

When granting an increased alimony after divorce, courts consider the circumstances surrounding the change and the events leading up to it. The court will examine two crucial aspects: whether the change was foreseeable and what initiated the change of circumstance.

What do courts consider when granting an increased alimony after divorce

– Principle of Foreseeability

Where the change was foreseeable, the court may be less likely to grant an increase in alimony. For instance, if there was looming inflation when the court entered an alimony order, the court would likely turn down a request by the spouse to increase alimony on the grounds of increased living expenses.

On the other hand, a court may consider increasing spousal support payments if the recipient spouse has suffered a diminished ability to support themselves due to a disability following an accident. The court will consider the circumstances under which the accident occurred to determine whether it was unforeseeable.

In addition to whether the change was foreseeable, the court will also consider what initiated the change of circumstance. For example, if the paying spouse voluntarily quits their job without a good reason, the court may be less likely to grant an increase in alimony. However, if the paying spouse is laid off due to company downsizing, the court may be more inclined to grant an increase in alimony.

– Cause of the Change in Circumstances

In addition to whether the change was foreseeable, the court will also consider what initiated the change of circumstance. For example, if the paying spouse voluntarily quits their job without a good reason, the court may be less likely to grant an increase in alimony. However, if the paying spouse is laid off due to company downsizing, the court will likely grant a request to increase alimony.

Similarly, if the recipient spouse is responsible for the change in circumstances, such as if they incur significant debt or voluntarily leave a well-paying job, the court may be less likely to grant increased spousal support. However, if the change in circumstances is due to factors beyond the recipient spouse’s control, such as a medical emergency or natural disaster, the court may be more inclined to grant an increase in alimony.

How Long After a Divorce Can You Ask For an Alimony Increase?

How long after divorce you can ask for an alimony increase depends on the laws of the jurisdiction in which the divorce was granted. Generally, courts may grant an alimony increase any time after the divorce, provided you can prove a significant or material change.

However, some alimony orders could include provisions for a waiting period before either party can request an alimony modification. This waiting period may range from several months to several years, depending on the specific laws of the jurisdiction and terms of the alimony order.

Can You Get an Increase in Alimony if Your Ex Husband Remarries?

You can not get an increase in alimony if your ex husband remarries, in most cases. The remarriage of the payor spouse isn’t considered a significant change in circumstances that would warrant an increase in alimony for the recipient spouseIn most cases, only a significant change in the circumstances of the recipient spouse may warrant an alimony increase.

Can you get an increase in alimony if your ex husband remarries

So are you wondering, “Can I get more alimony if my ex husband remarries?” If the payor spouse remarries, they are presumed to have new financial obligations to their new spouse and possibly any children from that marriage. As a result, the court will not typically view the payor spouse’s remarriage as a justification for an increase in alimony for the recipient spouse.

FAQ

1. Does Alimony Change if Income Changes After Divorce?

Alimony does not change if income changes after divorce for the payor spouse. The court will generally consider the totality of the circumstances and whether the increase in income has resulted in a significant change in the recipient spouse’s financial situation.

Take the case where the recipient spouse’s financial situation has not changed significantly, and they can support themselves without needing additional spousal support. In such cases, an increase in the payor spouse’s income would not be a reason for the recipient spouse to seek an increase in spousal support payments.

2. Can You Get Alimony if You Live With Your Boyfriend?

In most jurisdictions, cohabitation after a divorce or alimony order may be grounds for discontinuing alimony. If you are receiving alimony and are living with your boyfriend, the court may consider this a significant change in circumstances that could affect your financial needs and your eligibility for alimony.

Wondering, “Can I get alimony if I live with my boyfriend?” The specific criteria courts use to determine whether cohabitation warrants a reduction or termination of alimony varies by jurisdiction. Long-term cohabitation involving shared living expenses and a romantic relationship may be more likely to result in the termination of alimony. That could interest payor spouses wondering how to get out of permanent alimony.

It’s important to note that some states have specific divorce laws or case precedents that address cohabitation and alimony. In these states, the law may provide more guidance on how cohabitation will be treated in alimony cases.

Conclusion

Whether alimony can be increased after divorce depends on various factors courts must examine before deciding.

This article has discussed some of the situations that could warrant an alimony increase, so here are the main points to summarize the discussion:

  • Alimony may be increased after a divorce if a significant change in circumstances has affected the recipient spouse’s financial needs or ability to support themselves.
  • Courts consider the foreseeability and cause of the change in circumstance when considering a request for an alimony increase.
  • Alimony may be increased after a divorce if a significant change in circumstances has affected the recipient spouse’s financial needs or ability to support themselves.

It’s vital that you consult with an experienced family law or divorce attorney or a reputable law firm if you’re considering requesting an alimony increase after a divorce. These professionals will help you understand the laws in your jurisdiction and the specific criteria that must be met to request a modification of the original alimony award.

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