If the financial circumstances of either the payor or the receiver of alimony significantly changes, an alimony award may need to be modified to reflect this. Circumstances that may lead to a modification request include experiencing a substantial involuntary decrease to your income, failure of a business, or a substantial increase to your spouse’s income.
You can apply to the courts for a modification, but you may also want to explore the option of privately negotiating a mutually agreeable change. Let’s say a paying ex-spouse loses their job and can’t make the payments. If the former spouses are on good terms, the paying spouse may negotiate with the receiving spouse some type of temporary payment reduction until the spouse becomes employed and gets back on their feet.
This avoids the receiving spouse from having to go to court to enforce the alimony which they will be unable to collect if the paying spouse has no income.Going before the courts for a modification may be preferable. Your attorney will be able to guide you in making the right choice.
Bari Zell Weinberger is the owner and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group in New Jersey. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.