Raleigh Modifying Alimony Lawyers
Alimony provides payment for individuals who have gone through a divorce and need financial assistance. Under certain circumstances, a modification of award for alimony must be granted. This may only happen based on a substantial change of circumstances from the initial court order of alimony. Furthermore, in order to modify alimony, the parties must not have agreed that alimony shall be nonmodifiable.
At Marshall & Taylor PLLC, our Raleigh family and divorce lawyers are prepared to help you through the process of filing for a modification in your alimony agreement. We understand that although the legal proceedings regarding alimony may be tedious, there are instances in life when circumstances change and it becomes necessary to adjust alimony agreements.
Reasons for a Modification
Once an alimony agreement is reached, it is a legally binding document that those involved must follow. Fortunately, those needing to modify their alimony agreement can do so by seeking the court’s approval. Some of the common reasons for modifying an alimony agreement include:
- Change in income level
- Ex-spouse’s level of income changes
- Illness or injury
- Cost of living adjustment
If you or your spouse’s’ circumstances change in any way, either spouse has the opportunity to file a motion to modify alimony. If you are in an alimony agreement and believe that you need a modification to the agreement, it may be wise to seek the counsel of an experienced divorce lawyer.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you and your former spouse can reach an agreement about the modification of alimony payments, then you may be able to submit a modification to the court without having to appear in court, and without the help of an attorney.
But if one spouse does not want a modification or termination of alimony payments, or the change to the amount of alimony cannot be agreed upon, both parties will have to appear in court to testify to their need for a proposed change.
For your testimony, sufficient evidence that reflects your current life situation will need to be gathered, and a compelling argument in favor or not in favor of a modification to or termination of alimony will need to be crafted.
An experienced alimony lawyer can walk you through this process, ensuring that all testimony is heard by the court so that you can the strongest case possible to support your position.
Though some people worry about the costs of hiring an attorney, it is a necessary step so that you can ensure that you have done all you can to secure your personal financial situation and support yourself or your spouse satisfactorily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have taken the time to answer some common questions related to alimony payments and their modifications.
For What Reasons Can Alimony be Modified?
Modifications to alimony can occur when either a substantive change in need by the spouse receiving alimony or a substantive change in the ability to pay by the spouse paying alimony occurs. This can happen for the following reasons:
- Both spouses agree to modify the alimony agreement because of changes in their circumstances, which can include:
- Changes in North Carolina laws pertaining to alimony
- Decreased need for support
- Financial emergency
- New support obligations
- A cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was not included in the original alimony agreement, and spousal alimony payments are insufficient to currently take care of needs covered by alimony as specified in the agreement
- An escalator clause, which enables the spouse receiving alimony to get an automatic share of any pay increases that the spouse paying alimony gets, was not included in the original alimony agreement
- Sudden illnesses, loss of employment, and business losses may mean the alimony agreement needs to be modified for either the spouse paying alimony or the spouse receiving alimony
Are Modifications to Alimony Tied to the Length of the Marriage?
No. Unless you have a non-modifiable alimony agreement, in North Carolina, there is not a minimum length of time you had to be married in North Carolina to ask for a modification of your alimony agreement.
What Do I Need to Do if I Need to Modify My Alimony Agreement?
Whether you are the spouse paying alimony or the spouse receiving alimony, you may find that you reach a point where the alimony agreement needs to be modified. When you need to modify your alimony agreement, you need to hire an experienced alimony lawyer to help you make the case for why changes to your existing alimony agreement need to be made. Life changes, which may include things like loss of employment, remarriage of one of both spouses, and a substantial positive or negative change in finances, can be addressed and explained in full by a knowledgeable alimony attorney, making your case for alimony modification more likely to be approved by the court.
Why Choose Marshall & Taylor PLLC?
Marshall & Taylor PLLC understands that modifications to alimony are not something you are undertaking lightly. If you’ve had a major change in your circumstances, then you may find that the original alimony agreement that you made with your ex-spouse is untenable.
Marshall & Taylor PLLC has successfully helped many clients in the Wake County area with divorce legal matters, including the modification of alimony agreements.
If you need to modify your existing alimony agreement, our attorneys will treat you with the dedicated attention and empathy needed to get the modifications to your alimony agreement that you require.
Contact a Modifying Alimony Lawyer in Raleigh
The Raleigh lawyers at Marshall & Taylor PLLC understand the importance of having an alimony agreement that works in the best interest of your financial future. If you are considering modifying the terms of your alimony agreement in the Raleigh area, our lawyers are prepared to help. Call to consult with a friendly member of our legal team.