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Changing Alimony in Monmouth County 

After going through a divorce, a couple may be relieved that everything is settled and cleared. However, there is usually some unhappiness regarding certain aspects of the divorce settlement.

In some instances, like when it comes to property division, once the final order has been placed, no change can be made. However, for other awards such as custody, spousal support, or child support, there can be modifications depending on the circumstances.

If you have gotten a divorce and are unhappy with your final orders, or if the situation has changed and caused you to believe the spousal support award should be modified, it is vital that you speak with a skilled Monmouth County alimony lawyer. Your lawyer can explain if your situation warrants a modification, and can guide you through the process of changing alimony in Monmouth County.

How to Modify Alimony Payments

If there has been a significant change of circumstances warranting a change in the alimony, the Court would typically grant changing the required amount. The change in circumstances would have to be significant, which depends upon the parties individually and what their situation is financially. However, it is a high burden to prove that an individual is entitled to this additional support that they did not enjoy during the course of the marriage, but now need to support themselves.

Alimony Modification Guidelines

Some of the factors the court will look at when deciding to modify an existing alimony order for a person that is not self-employed are:

  • The reason for the loss of income
  • If the person lost a job, their efforts at finding a similar job with similar pay
  • If the person lost a job, their efforts at finding any work at all
  • How much the person receiving spousal support makes, their circumstances, and if they are also looking for work
  • Any health-related concerns that affect the person’s ability to work
  • Any changes in either person’s financial circumstances since the modification was filed for
  • The reason for any changes in financial circumstances, such as any new source of income
  • If it would be fair to temporarily change the spousal support until the person finds work
  • If there are any other factors the court believes are important
  • If the modification is based on the loss of a job or decrease in pay, the court will not consider it until 90 days after that situation occurred.

    For self-employed individuals, the court will often analyze the person’s business, before deciding whether changing alimony in Monmouth County is possible. The person asking for the modification must show the benefit of the business currently and at the time the original order was made.

    Termination of Alimony

    Alimony may be fully ended if a person has reached the age of retirement or if the person receiving the support is cohabitating with someone else. Factors a court might look at before ending alimony because of cohabitation include: shared finances between the new couple, shared living expenses, shared household chores, and whether the couple is known to others and socially accepted as a couple. If these conditions are met, then instead of changing spousal support in Monmouth County, the court will work to end an individual's spousal support agreement.

    For retirement, the presumption is that alimony will automatically end when the person paying it retires. However, this presumption can be challenged by the other party.

    Some of the factors the court will consider in continuing alimony are the age of the parties at retirement, if the person receiving spousal support agreed to take less property for a longer alimony period, and any sources of income for either party.

    What is the Tax Revamp Law?

    Currently, the tax consideration or the tax consequence of alimony is that it is deductible to the paying spouse and not considered part of their gross income, but it is added to and is taxable for the spouse that is receiving it, i.e., it is tax-deductible for the payor spouse and added to the gross income of the spouse that is receiving that money under the current tax law.

    The tax revamp law that was just proposed by President Trump states that alimony would not be deductible by the payor spouse and would not be added to the gross income of the spouse that is receiving it. That has a huge implication on the alimony law and whether or not that money is going to be considered income or not. As a payor spouse, that is immediately being taken out of their gross income and they are not even seeing the tax consequence on it. Many attorneys are keeping an eye on that update to the tax law to see whether or not it will pass.

    How a Monmouth County Attorney Can Help

    Changing alimony in Monmouth County requires showing that the circumstances have changed and now require a decrease in the spousal support award. Usually, this happens when the person paying alimony has lost their job and has been unable to find a new job or a job that pays a similar salary. Otherwise, support can be ended for good if the person paying alimony is retiring or if the person receiving it now lives with someone else.

    A Monmouth County alimony lawyer can explain if you fall under any of these categories and if a modification would be beneficial for your circumstances. The sooner you are able to modify your payments, the sooner you can get back on your feet financially. Speak with a qualified alimony lawyer today and rest assured that you are in capable hands.


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