Depending on the circumstances of the divorce, one of the judgments the court may make is spousal support payments. If the court directs that either party pay spousal support after the divorce, you might justifiably wonder if that amount is cast in stone.
Of course, spousal support terms vary from case to case. And because life is constantly changing, the spousal support component of your divorce may be subject to change as well. Here are some of the instances when a petition for spousal support modification may be justified:
When there is a mutual agreement
The sole purpose of spousal support payment is to mitigate any unfair economic hardship one party may face following the divorce. Spousal support can be short-term (to help the receiving party acquire skills necessary to gain employment) or long-term. If the purpose of the spousal support has been realized, and the court and/or divorced couple are in agreement that the receiving party’s status has improved, then both parties may mutually agree to terminate the payments.
When there is a change in income
This can go either way. If the paying party is experiencing a dramatic change in income (like loss of work), then they may petition the court to review and reduce their spousal support obligation. Likewise, if their income has significantly grown, then the receiving party may petition for an upward revision of the spousal support amount.
Remarriage or cohabitation
Generally, your financial obligation to your ex ends when they remarry or get into cohabitation with a romantic partner. While there may be a few exceptions to this rule, remarriage or cohabitation basically implies that they will no longer need to continue receiving support from their ex. Some of the evidence that can be used to prove remarriage or cohabitation include a marriage certificate, proof of a shared address or shared utility bills.
Whether you are the paying or receiving party, it is important that you know how to safeguard your rights and interests while petitioning the court to modify an existing spousal support order.