How Can I Modify Alimony?
Making Changes to Alimony Decisions
When changing or modifying alimony, you must ask whether your alimony merges or survives? If it survives, it is a contract on its own and it cannot be changed. If it merges, it can be changed. Things that can allow for a change are job change, change in income, retirement issues, or your spouse may be cohabiting. The law provides for all of these, in case you need to alter your alimony.
Changing alimony or having your alimony order modified might be a little bit on the trickier side of…support. The first question you must ask:
Does your agreement merge or survive?
- If it survives, that means that the alimony provision is like a contract on its own — it can’t change. It’s always there, you can’t change it at all.
- If it merged, that means it blends in with the Probate and Family Court’s ability to change some things. So, if it merges — the alimony provision in your agreement — the question becomes, “How do you justify a change in alimony?”
Well, it could be a job change.
Maybe your income is up, maybe it is down, maybe it is a retirement issue—you could be retiring earlier than you thought; you could have a spouse who is co-habitating or remarrying—and the law provides for changes in those cases.
So what you need to do is look at the facts, look at the law, and find a way to get into court and swing the bat to try and get what you’re looking for.