Life is constantly evolving. We see the world changing around us, and we are actively changing our lives through our decisions, such as our careers, our relationships and even where we live. But do life changes lead to changes in alimony?
Alimony is like any other aspect of a divorce settlement – it may require updates over time, depending on specific circumstances. It’s critical to know when it’s appropriate to seek a modification to alimony payments and how to do it in Massachusetts.
When to seek an update to alimony
Everyone’s situation will look slightly different depending on their lifestyle ad their previous marriage. However, there are four common situations when you should ask for a modification:
- An agreed-upon modification – There are times when both spouses want to change the terms of a spousal support agreement. You could just apply the change between yourselves, but a court’s approval would make it enforceable.
- Adjusting for the cost of living – Your circumstances may change where your cost of living is drastically different from your initial settlement. Some agreements include a clause that adjusts for the raising cost for living in the settlement.
- Unexpected financial emergency – Emergencies happen, so there may be a reason to seek additional support during emergencies. The same is true if you pay out alimony, so ask for a decrease in payments if you are going through an emergency, such as medical or loss of income.
- New support obligation – If one partner remarries, it’s usually time to reestablish the alimony agreement. An ex-spouse may have to pay less in spousal support because they have to support new children and another spouse.
However, these are just some of the most common reasons to seek modifications. There are many reasons why people seek changes in their alimony payments.
How to update the payments in Massachusetts
There are two ways depending on whether your partner agrees to the modification. If they do agree, you will need to file a joint petition along with financial statements and documentation relating to child custody. If they don’t agree, you need to file a complaint about the modification of alimony and the financial statements that show the issues being modified.
In both cases, you will need to consult with a legal representative to ensure you are seeking the right course of action for you and your family. Make sure to take the time and seek the payments that you deserve.