When you finalize your divorce, the court will set out specific dollar amounts for spousal support and child support. While a court order provides these values and you should adhere to them, they are not set in stone.
There are situations where you may want to petition the court to modify these numbers because your circumstances have changed and they are no longer appropriate. The following are several examples where modification of child support or spousal support would likely be proper.
Your Income Changes Significantly
Spousal maintenance and child support are both dependent on each spouse’s income. When your income drops suddenly, such as with a loss of employment or retirement, modification of the dollar amounts for these types of support may be appropriate. The opposite may be true as well—if your income increases significantly, your spouse may request an increase in your support amounts.
One Spouse Remarries
When a spouse remarries, that often affects the total income of the household. In most cases where spousal support has been awarded, the requirement to provide support will end when the other spouse remarries, but this is not always the case. However, when a spouse remarries, that generally will not affect how much the other parent receives in child support.
You Develop a Chronic Medical Condition
Medical conditions are a serious drain on your finances, not to mention the new limitations placed on your health. If you develop a medical condition that significantly increases your healthcare costs or makes you unable to work, then a modification of either spousal support or child support may be necessary. If you previously provided support, then a downward adjustment may be appropriate. You may also be able to stop providing support altogether in some circumstances.
You Need to Move Out of State
A significant move may warrant the need to revisit how much you pay for spousal support or child support. A move often affects child custody, which, in turn, will influence the amount of child support awarded. The reason for the move may also have an effect on how much you pay in spousal support. Moves are often necessitated by new jobs, family needs, or other serious life changes. The rationale behind the move may have more bearing on domestic support than the move itself.
Getting Help with Support Modification
You still have options even after a court awards a specific amount of monthly child support or spousal support. Modification may be a good option if you are going through some significant life changes, good or bad. Contact Goldsberry & Associates PLLC for more information or to schedule an appointment.