Are alimony orders adjustable?

Post-divorce finances can prove to be a struggle for most people, regardless if they reside in Colorado or elsewhere. Alimony will help some individuals with the difficult task of providing for themselves when their marriages come to an end. This is something that can be included in a divorce settlement, if one meets all the necessary qualifications.

Even after the awarding of monetary support, it is normal to have some questions about the amount granted, the duration of payments and the possibility for modification. If you are a spousal support recipient and have concerns about your current order, an experienced family law attorney may be able to help you by addressing those concerns and taking legal actions, if appropriate.

Alimony/Spousal support: What is it and how is it determined?

Before discussing the modification of an alimony order, let’s cover the basics. First, what exactly is alimony? Alimony, commonly referred to as maintenance or spousal support, is financial support granted to one spouse in a divorce. There are certain factors used in determining if one qualifies for maintenance. These include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The ages of both spouses
  • The economic need of the requesting spouse

The amount of support and the duration for which it is paid will be different in every case. Some may only receive it for temporary relief, while others may qualify for long-term support.

When might a court deem a modification necessary?

There are many individuals who believe there can be no changes to an alimony order after its approval. This is not necessarily true, however. Circumstances change, and the offerings in an order may prove to be insufficient for the recipient’s needs. An example of this would be:

A previous stay-at-home parent is awarded maintenance so that he or she can receive employment training, either through higher education opportunities or technical training. The duration of the spousal support is to last only through the end of his or her schooling. Unfortunately, at the end of this time period, he or she struggles to find a job that would make him or her self-sufficient. In this example, the recipient may request to increase the duration of payments. If deemed necessary, a modification may also be granted for the order amount.

There are actually quite a few alimony recipients in Colorado who may qualify for order modifications. However, post-decree financial support adjustments are not easy to come by. If you think you may qualify for a maintenance modification, an experienced family law attorney can help you by reviewing your case and filing the appropriate legal motions in court.