Though a spousal support contract is typically ordered with the needs and abilities of both parties of a divorce in mind, the terms of the agreement may not remain relevant for very long. When the circumstances of two ex-spouses change significantly, it may become clear that continued alimony payments should be increased, decreased, or disregarded completely, and the contract can be modified or ended.
If you believe that a change in your or your ex-spouse’s circumstances warrants a modification to your Chattanooga spousal support contract, you should enlist a seasoned attorney to help you make the change. Legal counsel could be crucial to presenting the required evidence in court to convince the judge to order a modification to your existing agreement.
When an alimony agreement is first created, the court will usually examine the financial capabilities of the divorcing spouses to determine if both will be able to be self-sufficient after their marriage is dissolved. If one spouse makes a much lower income than the other, or has other economic considerations such as childcare costs, they may be found eligible to receive scheduled payments from their former spouse.
However, in Tennessee, a significant change in circumstances can warrant a modification to a legal agreement such as a spousal support contract. Examples of a circumstantial change could be that the recipient spouse got a higher paying job, the paying spouse lost their employment, or a child that previously lived with the recipient moved to a new residence. In these cases, it may become obvious that the current alimony contract is not sustainable or capable of serving its intended purpose, so an individual may petition a Chattanooga court to make a spousal support modification.
While many changes in circumstance could lead to alterations within the spousal support agreement, there are some conditions that could result in the termination of alimony payments altogether. For example, if the recipient remarries, they would no longer qualify for spousal support and the payor could cease their contributions.
If one of the parties believes they have a valid reason to end their alimony payments, they should start gathering information to build their case immediately. An attorney would ask them for information, documents, and evidence regarding their or their former spouse’s changed financial situation. They would then have to prove why their current alimony agreement is unfair or irrelevant and answer any questions or concerns a judge may have.
A skilled professional who is highly knowledgeable in this field of family law could advise someone interested in modifying their spousal support contract about their options. It could be beneficial to have the assistance of a legal advocate who can negotiate with the other side about this often-contentious topic and minimize the potential conflict while deciding on a new agreement. If you think your current agreement is inadequate and want to discuss a spousal support modification with a Chattanooga lawyer, schedule a confidential consultation today.