Can Alimony Be Modified?
Are you required by your separation agreement or the court order that ended your marriage to pay your former spouse alimony (spousal support)? If you live in or around Hyde Park or elsewhere in the Greater Cincinnati area, and you’d like to modify the amount of money you’re obligated to pay, alimony attorney John Heilbrun can review your case and advise you as to whether your alimony obligation can be modified. If it can, he can assist you in attempting to do so.
Under Ohio law, alimony is known as spousal support. If the parties have ended their marriage by dissolution, then they will have addressed the issue as to whether either is responsible to pay spousal support to the other, and if so, the circumstances, if any, under which the obligation may be modified. In cases of divorce, if the parties do not come to an agreement regarding spousal support, the court will determine this issue for the parties, including whether spousal support should be paid, and if so, how much and for how long. The court will also decide whether the obligation to pay spousal support will be subject to being modified in the future, and if so, under what circumstances.
To be able to modify spousal support to reflect changes in your or your spouse’s circumstances, such language must be written into your separation agreement. If the court determined the matter of spousal support and ordered one spouse to pay spousal support to the other after the marriage, the obligation can only be modified if the court included a provision in the Order permitting modification and describing the circumstances that will allow the court to modify the spousal support obligation.
In most cases, an award of spousal support, either based upon the agreement of the parties or the Order of the Court, will terminate earlier than the date or time period set forth in the agreement or by the Court Order in the event that the spouse who receives spousal support remarries or “cohabitates”. The latter word has a fairly specific meaning under the law in the State of Ohio, and essentially involves a situation where the recipient of the spousal support is living with another person in a relationship equivalent to marriage. In addition, the death of either the paying spouse or the recipient spouse will usually terminate the spousal support obligation.
The extent to which a spousal support award may be modified, rather than terminated altogether, depends on the language contained in the agreement of the parties or the Court Order. Some of the more frequent bases for modification are:
- Disability of the paying spouse
- Involuntary loss of employment by the paying spouse
- Involuntary and substantial decrease in the income of the paying spouse
After assessing your claim, Hyde Park/Cincinnati alimony attorney, John Heilbrun, will advise you as to whether the possibility exists for your spousal support obligation to be modified. If it does, he will help you build as strong a case as possible on your behalf in an effort to convince the court that there should be a modification of your spousal support obligation.
To find out more about how a qualified alimony attorney can help you, please contact John Heilbrun or call 513-321-3940 today to schedule your initial appointment. Mr. Heilbrun serves clients in or around Hyde Park and other areas of Cincinnati.