Paying spousal support can be just one more thing that keeps you tied to someone you’ve chosen to separate from. While you may have appreciated the career sacrifices your ex made during your marriage, at some point you’ve got to start collecting the wages you work hard to earn for yourself — right?
Making a reduction
Permanent, durational and rehabilitative alimony orders tend to be long-term payments made monthly or semi-monthly. Permanent alimony can typically only be eliminated if your ex-spouse remarries or passes away. However, alimony could be reduced in any of these situations.
If your spouse is earning an income that affords him or her financial stability, you may be able to present this new evidence to the courts to reduce or end your payments. Other situations that could make for a change could be if your ex-spouse inherits or wins a substantial amount of money.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to reduce your payments down to the bare minimum your spouse can survive off of. This is because alimony payments are meant to maintain the lifestyle your ex-spouse had during your marriage.
Unless the lifestyle was just surviving off of basic necessities, you’ll like need to supplement more income.
The factors considered
The court will reexamine many factors to decide whether or not your payments can be reduced or eliminated. A few examples include:
- How long the marriage lasted
- The age of both parties
- Physical and emotional condition of both parties
- Income-earning capacity — including, job history, training and education
- The time required for a person to receive the proper training or education for adequate employment
- Lifestyle during marriage
- Career opportunities sacrificed and benefited from the marital arrangement
With a good attorney, you may be able to argue that your ex-spouse has not taken advantage of his or her career opportunities given the time it takes to develop the necessary skills or the educational/professional background they have.
Build your case
An attorney can help you gather evidence and make a case if you feel like your spouse is taking advantage of your alimony payments.