Some high net worth or long-term marriages often end in divorce with one spouse paying another spouse alimony. Alimony is a form of financial support that a court can order to assist the lifestyle maintenance of the recipient. The final divorce decree outlines the payment arrangements that are required under law.
However, your ex-spouse or you are not impervious to changes in income over the course of time. That means the courts allow for a reassessment of how much alimony is paid if your financial circumstances warrant a change. Your Georgia family law attorney can tell you if you have a valid claim to request a modification from a judge.
Minimum Requirements to File for Reduced Alimony
Filing a Petition of Modification of Alimony with the court is the first step toward a reduced alimony payment. Thereafter, the judge’s clerk schedules a court hearing to discuss the matter. However, there are a few minimum requirements that your claim must meet in order for it to be valid:
- The court must have previously ordered alimony payments;
- You pay alimony in regularly scheduled installments;
- A change in your lifestyle or financial situation affects your ability to support the current payment plan;
- The change must have occurred between the previous order and present day; and
- A request or order of alimony modifications must not have occurred within the past two years.
Depending upon your circumstances, timing is critical. You cannot change alimony more than once during a two-year period. If you know your circumstances will continue to change, then you might want to discuss the issue with a Georgia family law attorney. He or she can advise you as to the most advantageous timeline for your personal situation.
Proving Your Need for a Reduced Alimony Payment
After authenticating your claim, you can begin the evidence gathering phase of your request for reduced alimony payments. It is not enough to simply say, “Judge, I just do not have the money.” Instead, start a folder of supporting documentation that verifies your allegations. Bring it to your attorney to assist proving your claims.
The judge considers your request and compares it to every point you make. He or she also looks for economic indicators that show:
- Your personal and occupational expenses
- Fluctuations in debt and equity
- Major changes in overall income
Aside from your financial picture, the judge also looks at your ex-spouse’s financial picture. When he or she received alimony as part of your divorce plan, the court based the numbers on the information for that point in time. Things change, and your ex may not be poised to receive the original amount.
Hire a Georgia Family Law Attorney to Reduce Your Alimony Payments
Heading back to family court is something that most people find to be stressful. What you thought was ‘put to bed’ is now coming back to be addressed. The nature of the relationship with your ex-spouse also determines how easy the procedure goes.
Remember that you have rights. At Charlton & Glover, Attorneys at Law, we want to protect them along with your assets and well-being. Our Georgia family law attorneys offer a free, no-obligation consultation to assess your claim and strategize your plan to reduce alimony. Schedule yours today by calling (770) 993-1005 or by sending us a quick note here.