Your will experience many changes after a divorce. Some of these changes can warrant modifying alimony. Experiencing a serious illness can do just that. Suffering an illness can reduce your earning ability and add new expenses. These are two good reasons for modifying alimony. In fact, illness is a common reason why financial support agreements are modified after divorce. Modifying alimony can be difficult, however, so here are some things you should keep in mind:
You can’t modify all types of alimony. You can modify general term alimony and rehabilitative alimony, but not reimbursement alimony and transitional alimony. A spouse receiving general term or rehabilitative alimony who has experienced a material (i.e. financial) change in circumstances may ask the judge to modify alimony. In that case, the spouse who is ill may not be able to earn as much and may have a significant increase in expenses. Either of these can be considered a material change in circumstances. Note that both the amount and the length of the alimony payments can be modified, depending on the circumstances. This means you can increase, decrease, or extend alimony payments. These options allow you modify alimony to meet your specific short or long-term needs.
An Amicable Approach to Modifying Alimony
If you want to remain on good terms when modifying alimony, consider working toward an agreement with your spouse. Do this before you take the matter to court. The judge will have to decide on whether or not to modify the alimony if you file a complaint with the court without reaching an agreement with your spouse first. You will need to show that there is a compelling reason why you need alimony to be modified. The judge can deny your request if your reason isn’t compelling. The process can be taxing especially if you are suffering from an illness. You may want to try mediating the matter instead if you want the process to be efficient. In mediation, a Massachusetts divorce mediator will help you and your spouse find common ground on modifying alimony. Forming an agreement with your spouse first can leave you more in control of the outcome of the action.
Do you have questions about modifying alimony? Mediation Advantage Services can help you. Experienced in divorce mediation, family law attorney Polly A. Tatum can help modify your alimony if you experience a significant change in circumstances. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 645-6374, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.