Does an Unexpected Financial Windfall Impact Alimony Payments?

financial windfall

When the alimony arrangement between you and your former spouse was made, your individual incomes, assets, and earning potentials were all probably part of the equation. So if one of you suddenly comes into a lot of money, wouldn’t that require the alimony agreement to change? A financial windfall could require an alimony agreement to change, but it could also have no effect at all. Confused? Don’t be. You just have to tell our alimony modification attorneys in Bergen County, NJ what’s going on and we can tell you if there’s a chance to change your agreement.

What is the Purpose of Alimony?

Alimony is also called spousal support. When a couple gets a divorce, one of them may not be able to support themselves. Whether they were responsible for raising the kids or they just have a much lower income, they are going to have to receive alimony from their ex so that they can maintain their standard of living.

An alimony agreement is usually meant to last a certain amount of time and it’s rare that it lasts forever. Some types of alimony have a specific purpose, like paying for your former spouse to go to school and learn career skills that would enable them to support themselves. Alimony agreements can be modified, but is a financial windfall a good reason to do so? It can be.

How Would a Financial Windfall Affect an Alimony Agreement?

If the receiving spouse ends up reaping a financial windfall, their ex could end up arguing that there is little reason for them to keep receiving alimony. If the windfall is large enough, there is a possibility that the alimony agreement could end or be modified so that the paying spouse pays less.

On the other hand, if the paying spouse gets a windfall, the receiving spouse may want to ask for more alimony. This is a possibility, but it can be trickier to argue for. The original alimony agreement was made with the receiving spouse’s needs in mind. Their needs haven’t changed just because their ex came into some money.

The type of alimony being paid could matter too. If your spouse paid for your way through school, assuming that the investment would pay off and you would both benefit from your better career and income, they could be paid reimbursement alimony after you break up. This is because they no longer get the benefits of your improved station in life, despite paying for it. If the spouse receiving reimbursement alimony gets a financial windfall, that is unlikely to trigger a change in the current alimony agreement.

Talk to a Family Lawyer

If you have questions about your current alimony arrangements and how any recent financial events may impact it, contact the Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark. We can schedule a consultation and take a closer look at your case. If we think that your agreement should be adjusted, we can get the legal process started for you!

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