What You Need to Know About Spousal Support Modifications
During a divorce settlement, a judge may award alimony, or spousal support, to the lower-earning spouse. The purpose of alimony is to provide financial stability while the spouse transitions to single life and pursues gainful employment. Before awarding alimony, a judge must review the financial situations of both spouses and determine if alimony is necessary and can be afforded. The alimony is calculated as a sum certain amount, which can be paid in monthly installments or as a lump-sum.
Per Oklahoma law, alimony can be terminated or modified under certain conditions. However, both termination and modification require court approval—you can’t just decide to stop making payments.
Alimony can be modified or terminated under the following conditions:
One of the former spouses dies
The receiving spouse gets remarried
The receiving spouse begins living with a romantic partner
There is a change in the earning ability of either spouse
A spousal support order can be modified at the request of either party. However, the spouse seeking any type of modification must be able to prove that their situation warrants it. In other words, the original spousal support order must be deemed unreasonable by the court because of a substantial and lasting change in either party’s financial circumstances. For example, if the paying spouse loses their job they can’t be expected to pay the planned alimony payment. The court can modify the original terms of the order and adjust the total awarded amount.
Retain Legal Guidance & Modify Your Spousal Support Order
At Mazaheri Law Firm, our Oklahoma City divorce attorneys can evaluate your personal situation and develop a reasonable argument that can be presented to the court. We understand how difficult alimony modifications and terminations can be for either spouse. Please don’t hesitate to contact our firm if you have any questions or concerns regarding your settlement, alimony payments, or post-divorce modifications.