Alimony Modifications

Alimony Modifications

Alimony Modification Attorneys Bergen County, NJ

Modification to an Alimony Agreement

One of the most important and often contentious issues that need to be decided during many Bergen County divorces is that of alimony and spousal support. There are several different types of alimony that can be awarded depending on the circumstances of the marriage and the parties involved, but in general, alimony is designed to help a spouse who has been traditionally financially dependent on the other spouse to maintain a lifestyle similar to what they enjoyed during their marriage, and in many cases to help that spouse receive the education and job training necessary to re-enter the workplace, and becoming financially independent.

However, any alimony settlement that you reach during your divorce will be based on the circumstances of both spouses at the time of the divorce. Oftentimes, these circumstances can change, and therefore warrant either a decrease or an increase in alimony payments, depending on the exact circumstances which have changed.

At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, we have extensive experience helping clients across Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, Fort Lee, Hackensack, and the greater Bergen County area to modify, and contest, alimony modification petitions in order to more accurately reflect the changing lives and situations of the involved parties.

Contact our firm today to discuss your alimony modification needs and concerns in a free and confidential consultation today.

Decreasing Alimony Payments

There are several different circumstances in which the supporting party may request a decrease in their alimony obligations. Keep in mind that in order for an alimony modification petition to be successful, you will need to demonstrate that the circumstances in question have changed substantially, and permanently. While there is no definitive list of changed circumstances which may warrant a decrease in alimony payments, some of the most commonly cited circumstances are:

  • The dependent party has remarried or is cohabitating with another adult
  • The dependent party has secured employment or an increase in income
  • The dependent party received a large inheritance or financial payout
  • The dependent party refuses to take actions outlined in the existing alimony agreement necessary to become financially independent
  • The supporting party lost their job or took a pay cut
  • The supporting party’s cost of living has substantially increased
  • The supporting party is planning on retiring
  • The supporting party lost their home
  • The supporting party suffered a serious injury or illness which either limited their ability to work, or whose medical costs were prohibitive

Alimony agreements like temporary alimony, permanent alimony, and rehabilitative alimony can all be modified depending on the circumstances, but rehabilitative alimony cannot. Of course, the courts will require that the supporting party provide proof of these changed circumstances, as well as current financial information for both parties, so having an experienced Bergen County alimony reduction attorney on your side can be extremely beneficial towards effectively proving these changed circumstances, and presenting complete and accurate financial information to the courts.

Increasing Alimony Payments

On the other hand, a dependent party may also seek an increase in their alimony payments should certain circumstances change. As with alimony reductions, there is no definitive list of changed circumstances which qualify for an alimony increase, but some of the most commonly cited circumstances which can warrant an increase in alimony payments include:

  • The supporting party’s income increased
  • The supporting party received a large inheritance or financial payouts, such as the sale of a business or property
  • The dependent party was unable to secure employment by a projected date despite their best efforts to do so
  • The dependent party’s cost of living has increased substantially
  • The dependent party lost their home
  • The dependent party suffered a serious injury or illness which either limited their ability to work, or whose medical costs were prohibitive

Just as with alimony reductions, any time you are seeking to increase alimony payments, it is highly recommended that you retain the services of an experienced alimony attorney to better help you present the evidence of changed circumstances to the courts, and ensure that your unique situation, needs, and concerns are properly taken into account by the courts when making their ultimate ruling.

The Alimony Modification Process

There are two possible ways for a spousal support agreement to be modified after a divorce or dissolution of a legal relationship. The first involves both parties agreeing to the modification, signing and submitting a “consent order” to the courts outlining the exact terms of the changes to your alimony agreement.

While this method involves very little court intervention and can be relatively painless, it is very seldom the case that both parties can agree to an alimony modification. When this is the case, one party will need to file a request for the alimony modification with the courts. If the filing party (the plaintiff) is able to demonstrate that certain circumstances have changed permanently and substantially as to warrant an alimony modification, the court will review the current financial information of both parties, and order a modification of their existing alimony agreement in accordance with the changed circumstances.

Contact our Hackensack Alimony Change Request Lawyers Today

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Bergen County to successfully resolve alimony modification petitions of all kinds. By practicing exclusively family and divorce law, our firm can focus on providing you with the effective, knowledgeable, and compassionate legal counsel you deserve during any legal matter affecting you and your family, including alimony and alimony modification requests. Whether you are seeking a decrease in your alimony payments, or an increase in alimony payments, our firm is ready to provide you with exactly this kind of dedicated and effective legal counsel today. To speak with our firm in a free and confidential consultation regarding your alimony modification needs, concerns, and potential options, contact our firm today.

Read Our Latest Blog Posts

  •  How do New Jersey Courts Determine Child Relocation?
  •  Post-Divorce Modifications in New Jersey
  •  Does my Divorce Have to go Through Litigation?