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It is possible to adjust the terms of an alimony order?

Ending a marriage can do a real number on your finances. In some cases, one spouse may require alimony to help keep him or her on stable financial ground. Maintenance in Utah is usually only a temporary thing, and any initial orders granted are pretty firm. However, under particular circumstances, it may be possible to adjust the terms.

The purpose of alimony, generally, is not to provide financial support forever. It is often only awarded for a few years to help the receiving spouse until he or she can support him or herself.

Setting an amount

Many people worry about how much alimony they may have to pay or what they may receive after the divorce. The amount given depends on several factors, including:

  • The incomes of both parties
  • The education levels of both parties
  • The actual need of the requesting spouse
  • The marital standard of living

The awarding of alimony does not occur in all divorce cases.

Adjustment of terms

A spousal support order, if awarded, is based on information known at the time of its creation. The courts may adjust it if any unforeseen changes in circumstances arise. Some common reasons to modify an alimony order include:

  • Cost of living increase
  • Escalator clause included in the order
  • Disability
  • Decrease in need
  • Increase in payee salary
  • Financial emergency

Utah has strict rules regarding the adjustment of alimony. The courts will not grant every modification request. There has to be a good reason for it.

Who can request the adjustment?

Either party can request a support modification. The payer may wish to have the order canceled or his or her obligation reduced. The payee may want to seek more support or increase the duration of the support order. No matter who requests the adjustment, the court will not even consider the petition if the individual who filed it lacks the evidence needed to prove it is warranted.

Help available when wanting an alimony change

In some cases, both parties may agree to temporary alimony changes in private. In cases where permanent modifications are the goal, if a new agreement cannot be reached outside of court, each party will have the opportunity to present his or her side of the case before a judge who will then have the final say in the matter. Thankfully, you can seek assistance addressing the issue whether you do so privately or in court.

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