Things Have Changed: Will the Court Modify my Alimony Award?

The type of alimony and the specific set of circumstances will determine whether or not your current alimony award can be modified.  Permanent Alimony, for example, may be modified by a showing of a substantial change in circumstances or upon a showing that the obligee (the person to whom the support is owed) is maintaining a supportive relationship.

The court will assess the existence of a supportive relationship by a careful review of certain factors which include but are not limited to:

  • Whether the obligee and the other person have held themselves out to the public as husband and wife,
  • The length of time they have resided together in a permanent dwelling, or
  • Whether they have pooled financial assets, jointly purchased real or personal properties or engaged in other behavior that indicates a level of economic support.  

Rehabilitative Alimony

Awarded to assist a party with achieving a level of self-support -may be modified based on a substantial change in circumstances or if there has been noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan or a completion of the rehabilitative plan. 

"Bridge-the-Gap" Alimony

Awarded to assist in the transition from being married to single, may not be modified. 

In all cases, it will be necessary to conduct a careful analysis of the type of alimony initially awarded and the specific reasons supporting the need for a modification.  

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