Alimony is a common issue that comes up in divorce cases in the Baton Rouge area. Many people come into our Gregory S. Johnson, Attorney at Law office believing their alimony payments cannot be adjusted. There are many reasons why a person may want to have their alimony payments reduced.
According to FindLaw, alimony awards are eligible for reduction when one of the following five events occur:
- Loss of employment
- Serious illness or disability
- Cohabitation with new partner
The courts are not obligated to reduce spousal support payments. However, divorcees can petition the courts to review their ex-partner’s financial circumstances and make a ruling on if the original payment amounts specified on their divorce decrees still stands.
For example, if you must pay your spouse $1,500 a month in spousal support and you are laid off, you could petition the courts to lower your payments. However, if/when you get another job, and your partner learns of it, he/she can petition the courts to restore your payments to the original or higher amount.
Another example is if you pay your spouse $2,000 in alimony each month and quit your job. You cannot petition the courts to reduce the amount you must pay your ex-spouse. Spousal support reduction is only a consideration when the loss of employment is involuntary.
There are circumstances where you may experience trouble paying your ex-spouse alimony because you have less income. You should always do your best to keep up with your alimony payments. If your income causes you financial hardship and you can provide evidence of it, you can ask for your spousal support obligation to be lowered. For more information regarding alimony and spousal support, please visit our web page.