Ways to Modify Alimony Payments


Spousal support payments can be modified after a Pasadena divorce if necessary. There are a number of ways to go about increasing or decreasing alimony payments after a divorce has been finalized.

A temporary court ordered modification can increase the amount of alimony paid if the recipient becomes ill or needs greater spousal support for some other reason. On a similar note, the order could decrease the amount of alimony paid if the person making the payments is temporarily earning less income.

A permanent modification would occur if there was a change in circumstances that is expected to be ongoing. For example, if the paying spouse remarries, he or she could ask to pay less alimony based on the view that it would be hard to maintain the current payment levels in addition to his or her new family obligations.

Whenever possible, attorneys recommend writing clauses into the divorce agreement that reduce the need to go back to court for a spousal support modification. For example, a cost of living (COLA) clause says that the amount you receive in alimony each year will be adjusted based on increases in the cost of maintaining your current lifestyle. On a similar note, an escalator clause says that alimony payments must be increased when the person making the payments receives an increase in income.

Alimony laws do change periodically. If there is a change in the law that would be relevant to your case, you can ask to go back to court to have your alimony payments recalculated.

Sometimes spouses work out an agreement to increase or decrease alimony payments without involving attorneys or the court. This may seem like a smart way to save on legal fees, but you should be aware that agreements of this type are not legally enforceable. If you work out an agreement with your spouse, you need to have it signed by a judge to protect yourself if problems arise in the future.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of assistance with a spousal support issue, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our Pasadena matrimonial law attorneys have extensive experience handling a variety of common alimony concerns.