Reasons to Seek an Increase Your Alimony Payments
When a couple gets divorced, it’s fairly common for one spouse to receive support from the other spouse for a specified time. This support is normally referred to as alimony. In this article, we discuss what is alimony, how alimony payments work, and reasons to seek an increase alimony payments.
What Is Alimony?
Also referred to as spousal support, alimony is monetary payments made by one spouse to another after separation, during the divorce, and/or after the divorce. The primary aim of alimony is to support the receiving party when they’re trying to become financially independent. Alimony is also intended to attempt to equalize the financial capabilities of the divorcing couple.
How Do Alimony Payments Work?
When a married couple legally becomes separated or divorced, the two parties can agree and set the conditions of alimony on their own. If they can’t agree, the court will eventually intervene and determine the alimony one spouse is obligated to provide to the other spouse.
Spousal support isn’t automatic, and it isn’t ordered in every divorce case. Alimony payments are typically issued in situations where one spouse earns a higher income compared to the other. Alimony may not be approved if the marriage is new or if both spouses have a similar annual income.
At the beginning of an alimony order, a judge may set an expiration date after which the paying spouse will no longer be obligated to provide financial support to the receiving spouse. Alimony is also be terminated when:
- The receiving spouse remarries
- Either spouse dies
How Is Alimony Determined?
There is no definite way of calculating spousal support. The amount of alimony the paying spouse is required to pay will depend on various factors, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The health and age of each spouse
- Each spouse’s occupation
- The amount of income each party earns per month
- The expenses each party incurs
- The employability of the receiving spouse
- The contribution each spouse made in the marriage
- Whether the alimony will enable to receiving spouse to maintain the lifestyle, they’re accustomed to
- Whether any economic opportunities were lost as a result of the marriage
Depending on the situation, alimony payments can be modified.
When Can an Increase in Your Alimony Payments Be Allowed?
The amount of alimony a spouse receives can be increased if there are changing financial circumstances for either spouse. These circumstances include:
- A reduction in the recipient spouse’s income
- A reduction or loss in the recipient spouse’s ability to earn income
- An increase in the recipient spouse’s justified expenses
- Failure for the recipient’s economic conditions to improve
- If an inadequate alimony payment was initially awarded
It may also be possible to increase your alimony payments if the financial situation of the paying spouse improves. However, this is only limited if the increase in payments will cover any unmet financial needs for the receiving spouse.
How Can a Person Increase the Amount of Alimony?
If the receiving spouse wants to increase the amount of alimony they receive, they need to request a modification of the alimony payments. For the increase to be permitted, the receiving spouse must:
- Show that the change in their financial situation is enough to warrant an increase in the alimony payments
- Show that the paying spouse can pay the new requested amount of alimony
- Prove that the increase in alimony payments is consistent with the goals outlined in the divorce agreement.
Do You Need a Divorce Attorney’s Help with Your Alimony Payments?
The process of increasing your alimony payments is uncommon and complicated. To better protect your spousal support rights, you need to consult an experienced Bradenton divorce lawyer like Matthew Z. Martell. Bradenton Family law attorney Matthew Z. Martell will help you navigate the complex divorce and alimony legal landscape and present your case in court. Hiring a divorce lawyer in Bradenton such as Matthew Z. Martell is your best chance of getting extra money for your alimony maintenance.
At the Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell, our Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, FL divorce attorney has experience in securing alimony payments. Divorce attorney Matthew Z. Martell works hard to ensure that the receiving spouse gets what he or she deserves. Call us on 941-556-7020 to schedule a Consultation by phone to talk to our Lakewood Ranch divorce lawyer and start with the alimony modification process.