30 May Alimony Modification – Changing Spousal Support
Alimony is a major aspect of many couples’ divorce decrees. One spouse is often required to pay the other spouse a certain amount of spousal support so that the recipient spouse is able to maintain the type of lifestyle that he or she has grown accustomed to in the marriage. But what if something happens to the paying spouse and he or she is unable to keep making the same amount in alimony payments? What if the paying spouse loses their job, or is involved in a serious accident that leaves them unable to earn an income and thus unable to provide alimony? In this article, we’ll cover alimony modification to help you understand what it takes to change your payment obligation.
Can I Modify My Alimony Obligation?
In South Carolina, there is a preference for permanent alimony to be awarded, meaning that alimony obligations can last until the recipient spouse dies, gets remarried or cohabitates with someone as if they were married. However, it is possible to obtain an alimony modification of your divorce decree in the interim if you can demonstrate that your financial circumstances have substantially changed. Under S.C. Code Ann. Section 20-3-170, if you are experiencing reduced income levels due to changes in your personal circumstances, it may become very taxing to keep paying spousal support at the same level.
Seeking an alimony modification works best when the paying spouse suffers a substantial reduction in income levels. This could occur, for example, if the spouse was involved in an accident and is permanently disabled, or when the paying spouse loses their job and can only find work at a much lower rate of compensation. But a paying spouse who sees their income level drop a minor percentage might be better off toughing it out, as the lawyer, legal and court fees might not make it worth it to seek an alimony modification.
How Much Will The Alimony Modification Be?
The family court will consider a number of factors when deciding whether to award an alimony modification and how much the modification will be. For instance, the court will take into consideration how substantially your financial situation has changed, when the change occurred, and the reason for the change.
The court will look more favorably at the modification if you were laid off or your financial problems stem from an accident where you were a faultless victim. The court will look less kindly on you if you purposely got yourself fired so that you wouldn’t be able to pay your alimony obligation.
Since seeking an alimony modification has the potential to have a big impact on your finances and your ability to provide for your loved ones, it is important that you work with an experienced South Carolina alimony attorney. You should discuss whether it is likely to be worth it for you to seek a modification.
Work With A Skilled South Carolina Alimony Lawyer
Knowing when you should seek an alimony modification requires the help of an experienced lawyer. Sometimes it might not be worth the effort if the reduction in your income is small or you did something to cause your financial situation. You can discuss your situation with an experienced family law attorney today. Just reach out to the Mount Pleasant family law attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC today. Contact us today for a free consultation.