Can I Modify My Divorce Decree If I Need More Alimony?

Can I make modifications to my divorce decree? My circumstances have changed and I’m going to need more alimony.

By Diana N. Fredericks
September 22, 2015

If you experience permanent and substantial changes to your circumstances after the entry of your divorce (and signed agreement), it may be possible to make an application to the court for a modification. However, seeking additional alimony after the entry of your divorce is very difficult and requires a thorough analysis of the financial facts of your case.


If you discover post-divorce that the amount of alimony you agreed upon is insufficient, and all other facts have remained the same since the time the divorce was entered, it may be very difficult and unlikely to receive an increase; however, if you discover post-divorce that your spouse received a significant bonus or raise for work performed during the marriage, you may be entitled to a modification or a distribution. Another example where you may succeed in an application for additional support is where you have a self-employed payor who suddenly post-divorce has purchased a large home, new car, begun taking luxury vacations, etc., but this same person claimed to have no income or funds to pay support during the divorce.


It is also critical that you read your divorce agreement very carefully to determine if alimony is modifiable under your agreement. Does your agreement set forth the marital lifestyle and did you indicate that you could meet the same based on the support set forth in the agreement, or did you acknowledge that even though you were unable to meet the marital lifestyle you were nonetheless willing to accept the support set forth in the agreement? Does your agreement require you to attempt mediation prior to filing an application with the court?


Each of these questions is extremely important to answer this inquiry, which is very fact-sensitive. Each case is different and it is imperative that you have a consultation with an experienced matrimonial attorney to strategize various options.

Diana N. Fredericks, a family law attorney at Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C. Diana works with clients whose needs lie in all areas of matrimonial and family law.

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September 22, 2015

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