Modification Of Missouri Spousal Support
If you’ve been divorced for a period of time and either pay or receive spousal support, it’s entirely possible that either your or your ex-spouse has undergone changes in financial status since the divorce occurred. With those changes, isn’t it reasonable that the alimony—sometimes referred to as spousal support—requirements change as well?
Why is Support Ordered in the First Place?
Spousal support is often provided for a lesser-earning spouse when the recipient is unable to cover reasonable financial needs without such help, and the payer can provide the support without undue hardship. Support may be open-ended, meaning it continues until the death of one of the individuals involved. This is the most commonly modified type of spousal support. Limited duration support occurs for a specific time frame or until the lesser-earner acquires job skills, for example. That can only be modified under special circumstances.
Changes Often Predicate Support Adjustments
Life changes do impact the amount of support one party must pay another according to Missouri law. A number of major changes could drastically alter the amount of money changing hands among exes.
Changes that Might Increase Support Payments
A number of fluctuations in life have the potential to increase the amount of support one former spouse must pay to another. Some of those include:
- The payer gets a higher paying job and can afford more;
- The recipient loses a job and needs more;
- The recipient requires additional care due to aging or other factors.
Changes that Might Decrease Support Payments
The most common reason that support changes occur is when the recipient remarries. But any of the reasons listed above could be reversed and lead to a decrease in mandatory support—The payer may lose a job, the recipient may obtain a job or get a promotion, the payer may become ill and be unable to make support payments, or the recipient comes into significantly more resources (say, an inheritance or lottery win).
Who Can Request a Modification?
Either partner can request a change to current payment arrangements by a motion to modify with the court. A successful change occurs only when the person requesting the change can demonstrate a significant and continuing change in circumstances that such modifications are a reasonable entreaty. If the parties are amenable to a conversation on the matter, it can sometimes be mediated with success. Otherwise, a judge will make a decision based on the evidence presented in court.
Getting the Changes Made
The dedicated Springfield spousal support attorneys at Courtney & Mills are prepared to go to bat for clients who seek modifications to previously drawn up spousal support requirements. We have found success in these kinds of cases when we do our homework and present a strong and convincing argument on your behalf. To discuss the possibilities, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.