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Can an alimony order ever be adjusted?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2016 | Divorce

For most people, whether in Georgia or elsewhere, post-divorce finances can be a struggle, as it is hard and expensive to divide one household into two. Thankfully, there are those who are eligible to receive alimony as part of their divorce settlements, which provides a financial life-line in a time of uncertainty. If you are a recipient of alimony, you may have a number of questions regarding your order. For instance, have you ever wondered if modifications can be made to your support amount or duration of payments?

Alimony review

Before covering the modification of alimony, the first thing to address is: What is alimony? Alimony — also known as spousal support or maintenance — is financial support awarded to one spouse in a divorce. Not every case allows for alimony modifications; certain factors determine whether or not modifications are granted. These factors include:

  • The length of the marriage.
  • The ages of both spouses.
  • The financial need of the requesting spouse.
  • The marital standard of living.

As every case is unique, the amount of alimony awarded and how long it is paid will vary based on individual circumstances.

Why seek a modification?

Some may think there is never a need to change an alimony order, or that getting it adjusted is impossible. However, the one thing that is constant in life is change, and there are instances when modifications may become necessary. The biggest reason would be for a change in financial circumstances. Sometimes the recipients of spousal support will experience employment or other personal difficulties, resulting in monetary needs. An example of this would be:

  • A previous stay-at-home mom receives an alimony order so that she can attend school in order to help her achieve a high paying job. After her schooling is complete, however, she is unable to find employment that provides for all of her financial needs.

In this case, she may seek to have the duration of her alimony and the amount increased. In Georgia, there are actually quite a few alimony recipients who may qualify for order modifications. With appropriate legal counsel, you can successfully apply for post-decree alimony adjustments. If you believe you are eligible for such a support modification, an experienced family law attorney can review your case and file the necessary legal motions, if appropriate.

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