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When your spousal support just isn't enough

During your marriage, you stayed home to raise the kids or experienced a number of other circumstances that kept you away from the job force. This left you fully financially dependent on your spouse. There is nothing wrong with this; in fact, it is a situation in which many Kentucky residents find themselves. However, you got a divorce and you now find yourself struggling financially despite being awarded spousal support. What can you do?

Spousal support payments, in most cases, occur on a temporary basis. It is usually just enough to help the individual receiving it find some financial footing. Unfortunately, some struggle to do so in the specified time frame. If you find yourself in such a situation, you may have the ability to obtain an alimony modification.

Support basics: How to qualify

Alimony is not something granted in every divorce case. If you and your spouse do not come to agreeable terms regarding this matter on your own, it will be up to a court to decide if you get it, how much you receive and for how long. In order to decide, a judge will look at various factors, including:

  • How long your marriage lasted
  • The marital standard of living
  • Your age and the age of your spouse
  • Your economic need
  • Your spouses' ability to pay

As previously stated, support duration is generally temporary. However, in select cases, long-term spousal support is possible.

Circumstances can change

Okay, you've been divorced for a while and receiving your alimony payments. Unfortunately, you are finding that it just isn't enough or that you are going to need it longer than which your order specifies. Depending on the wording of your alimony order, you may be able to have the payment amount, duration or both adjusted. To do this, you will have to provide evidence that your need has changed.

The word need can be rather controversial when dealing with a support modification. The payor is likely to fight any request to increase the amount or duration, so your need must be a documented change in circumstances.

For example, your order specifies that you are to receive payments for five years, allowing you to go to school and have time to find a good paying job. You find, however, that school takes longer than expected or you struggle to find employment when done with school. This may qualify you for an alimony modification.

Post-decree adjustments, you never know until you try

Post-decree spousal support adjustments are not necessarily easy to achieve. This is not a fight you have to take on by yourself, though. With the right legal assistance, you can take all the steps necessary to petition for the modifications desired and significantly increase your odds of success.

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Tasha Scott Schaffner, PLLC - Attorneys at law

505 Centre View Blvd.
Crestview Hills, KY 41017

Phone: 859-491-1011
Fax: 859-491-1899
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