Many divorcees may not realize is that there are circumstances that can prompt the need for an alimony modification. The supporting spouse may have lost his or her job or received a large raise, or the receiving spouse can remarry or have a change in their income. Citizens in Fayetteville, North Carolina need to be aware of some of the reasons to request a modification in alimony, whether they are paying or receiving the funds.
Cost of Living Adjustment Clause
Often referred to as a COLA Clause, a Cost of Living Adjustment Clause is put into the original divorce decree that is agreed on by the former spouses or ordered by the court. This clause simply states that the amount of alimony that is paid will increase in direct correlation to the annual cost of living. In the unlikely event that the cost of living goes down, the amount of alimony would be decreased.
Change in Circumstance
In the event that the receiving spouse experiences a significant change in income, the spouse who has been ordered to pay alimony can request a modification. If the receiving spouse receives a substantial raise, the payor can ask for a reduction in alimony. Conversely, if the spouse who is receiving support suffers a decrease in pay, he or she can request an increase in alimony.
Perhaps one of the more surprising causes of an adjustment, the birth of a new child can lead to a decrease in alimony. If the paying spouse remarries and has a child, the court can recognize their new financial obligations and reduce their alimony responsibilities.
A client who is either receiving or paying alimony and believes that he or she has a case for an adjustment in alimony should contact an attorney. The attorney can review the claims of their client, the original divorce decree, and help the client proceed with their request.