Alimony, or spousal support, is a payment from one spouse to the other after a divorce to help balance any financial burden that may occur because of the divorce. An example would be if a stay at home mom suddenly had to find an income to support herself and her children after a divorce. Alimony can be made monthly or as a lump sum.
Once you have signed your divorce settlement, it is very difficult to have the amount of alimony changed. Every state has its own rules, so you should contact your attorney as soon as you decide you want or need more money. He/she knows your case and the laws in your area and can give you the best advice on whether to pursue your case of increasing your alimony.
In most states, only a substantial decrease in your salary or financial situation is a reason to go back to court and ask for more money. You will have to show proof that your situation has changed since your divorce. Losing your job may be enough for the court to reopen your divorce case. If you quit your job, though, the judge may not look at your case.
Many people have tried to get more money from an ex by quitting a good job. Their plan is to stay home while their ex supports them and anyone else who may be living in the home. Most judges can see right through this ploy, so don’t assume your case is unique. You will have to show proof on why you felt you had to quit your job.
If you truly need more money, you may be able to approach your ex about modifying the agreement. While this is wonderful, if your spouse agrees, make sure you have a properly signed agreement. If you don’t, and your spouse decides not to pay, you won’t be able to use the court to force payment.
Illness is another reason that you may be able to get an increase in alimony. This increase is usually only temporary, but it can help you through a tough time while you recover from your illness or injury. If your ex has a large increase in income, you may be able to get your alimony increased, too, but again, it is difficult to adjust alimony after you have agreed to the original settlement.
Getting an increase in alimony is possible, but you need to be sure your circumstances require more money. Having more cash is always great, but lying or exaggerating to get it will only backfire on you. Gather proof of your need and contact the lawyer who handled your divorce for the best advice on your next step.
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