Will My Alimony Payments Increase If My Income Increases?

March 2, 2022

Will Alimony Incraese With a Pay Increase? 

Alimony is a payment made to a former spouse as deemed by the courts because of divorce or separation from that spouse. The judicial system set up programs to make it possible for former spouses to pay alimony in order to not have one party or the other fall off a financial cliff just because they are no longer married to that person. These laws intend to make it easier for someone in a failed marriage to leave that marriage. 

How Alimony Is Initially Determined 

There is a determination that must be made by the court when they receive the case about the initial amount that one spouse will pay another in alimony. These determinations are made based on each spouse’s income and what that income is likely to look like after the marriage is dissolved. The court will consider the following: 

  • The potential impact that the divorce will have on each person financially
  • The impact that the financial changes will have on any children involved in the situation
  • How to best meet the welfare of all parties in this situation

The court does NOT look at factors such as: 

  • Who was "right" to have divorced the other
  • How much money one wants to get in alimony 

This is why the system exists. It can jump in to settle disputes when others are not able to do so amongst themselves. This is important because it can be extremely tricky to get results that are appealing to all sides of a transaction when there are so many personal disputes between the parties. Luckily, the courts stand in the middle and help make some of those decisions for people. That is the only way that these things truly get resolved.

When Do I Need An Alimony Modification? 

Alimony modifications occur when the financial situation changes between the two people who are now divorced. The court set up the alimony agreement at one point. Still, factors can shift in a certain period of time, and it is not uncommon for changes to be necessary to ensure the alimony plan continues to work for everyone involved going forward. 

You may require an alimony modification if: 

  1. There are changes in the income status of one party or another due to a job change
  2. One party or another has gained assets that they did not have at the time
  3. There has been significant damage to one’s earning ability such as through a disability

Major shifts in income levels like this are something worth paying attention to, and they make for a moment when it becomes necessary to potentially get an alimony modification done. You don’t want to leave your alimony set at the same levels forever if there are legitimate reasons to move it. Thus, the courts allow for changes to the plans when it can be proven that a change has occurred. Review this information with your attorney and see when it might be appropriate to ask the court to change your alimony payments. 

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K.J. Law P.A.