Your income will be considered when general term alimony is determined. Most sources of income will be taken into consideration for alimony, child support, and asset division purposes. It is not uncommon for someone’s income to change after an alimony order is in place. You can request the court to modify your existing order if your income changes and you can no longer pay alimony, but it is important to note that unemployment benefits may still be considered income. Your alimony amount may be reduced, however, if you are not receiving unemployment and there has been a material change in circumstances.
You and your spouse can modify your alimony amount by submitting a joint petition along with an executed Agreement, some other forms and a fee to the court. You may have one court appearance for the judge to review your paperwork and agreement. The amount or the duration of the alimony may be changed. You will have to file a complaint for a modification with the court if you do not agree with your spouse on the matter. This process can take longer, and you may need to appear at one or more hearings. It can also cost significantly more if you hire an attorney to help you. Taking a modification issue to court can also breed a lot of tension between you and your spouse.
You will still be liable for the entire amount of your alimony or child support payments until you modify them with the court even if your income has changed. Your income could be garnished, and you may have to pay interest on any unpaid amounts. This is why it is so important to modify a support order as soon as you can if there has been a material change in circumstances since the existing order was issued. The court may or may not grant your request for a modification, and a change in income alone may not warrant a modification. Speak with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator about your options if you have become unemployed. A skilled mediator can work with you and your spouse on creating a new alimony arrangement that reflects the change in circumstances.
Do you need to modify your alimony order because of unemployment? Mediation Advantage Services is here to help. Polly A. Tatum, experienced in Massachusetts family law, can help you handle any alimony issues in mediation, ensuring you and your spouse reach an agreement that is reasonable. 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 508-795-1557, 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.