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Modifying spousal support orders

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2022 | Family Law

In some cases, spousal support can provide a critical financial lifeline. But, as often happens in life, circumstances can change, including a person’s need for or ability to pay spousal support.

Requesting modification of spousal support

Under New York law, a party paying or receiving spousal support can bring a motion to modify a spousal support award.

For a court to grant the motion, the moving party must show a change of circumstances that impacts either party’s financial situation. In other words, the moving party must show either a change in the payer’s ability to pay or the recipient’s need for spousal support.

Examples of changed circumstances

Suppose the paying party lost their job or sustained an injury resulting in significantly decreased income. Under these circumstances, a court may find a change in circumstances warrants warranting a decrease in spousal support obligations.

Alternatively, suppose a party receiving child support gets a new job that increases their income. The court may find changed circumstances justifying a decrease or even termination of spousal support because the receiving suppose no longer needs financial support.

Other circumstances that may warrant modification include a receiving party’s change in housing costs due to cohabitation or either parties’ receipt of a sizeable inheritance.

A court will consider any change in circumstance that significantly influences a party’s ability to pay or need to receive supposal maintenance.

Bringing a motion

If you are a party seeking or challenging a motion to modify spousal support, a skilled attorney can provide invaluable assistance in gathering evidence and making arguments to the court.