Requesting a Modification in Spousal Support
There are several such divorce cases, wherein either spouse might want to request a modification in the amount of alimony he or she pays to the other partner. The state laws of California allow an individual to get his spousal support adjusted in due course of time only if the original court order does not carry specific clauses or statements that render the alimony ‘non modifiable’. We are listing a few common situations wherein an individual can request the court to modify his or her alimony.
A mutual agreement with your spouse
In certain cases, both of the divorce partners might come to a common agreement regarding a modification in the terms of their spousal support. The settlement can be made without the approval of a court of law. However, under some situations the other partner might later refuse to accept the new terms and conditions of the modified agreement. It is therefore advisable to get your new agreement signed by a judge, in order to make it enforceable by the court of law and legally binding upon both the partners in agreement.
The cost of living adjustment clause
By incorporating a COLA or cost of living adjustment clause in your original divorce decree, you can ensure that the alimony payments you receive will be increasing at a rate equivalent to the increasing annual rate of cost of living. The COLA clause will not only ensure that you receive suitable payments as per the changing economy around you, but also minimize any conflicts or disputes arising out of a need for modifications.
The escalator clause
An inclusion of the escalator clause in the original divorce decree ensures that you are automatically entitled to receiving a share of an increase in your partner’s earnings. For example, if your ex-spouse serves in the armed forces and is entitled to an annual raise in his cost of living, you will by default receive a specific portion of that raise.
Temporary situational modifications
If in case, the recipient of the alimony falls ill or loses a job, the court of law has the discretion to increase the support payments for the time period of the unforeseen contingency. On the other hand, if the payer loses a job or falls ill, he can also request the court to reduce the support payments for a specific period of time. These modifications however are temporary, and revert back to the original terms once the individual returns to his normal life.
If in case, you think that the support that you pay or receive is too huge or too little respectively, you can consult your attorney and go ahead with the proceedings as per your state laws.
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