Hartley Law Office, LLC

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Am I able to get spousal support changed?

This blog has previously discussed how Ohio courts may award different forms of spousal support following a divorce or legal separation. To review, if a Dayton resident is ordered to pay spousal support, then he or she must make the regular payments as ordered or face the possibility of serious legal consequences.

Whether a person is or is not allowed to ask the court to change the amount of these payments, or to terminate them altogether, depends in part on what their divorce decree or decree of dissolution says. In Ohio, the decree ordinarily has to spell out explicitly that spousal support can be changed should either party face a change in their financial circumstances. If the decree does not so specify, then the award is permanent.

Assuming the decree does all for a change, the person wanting it must prove to the court that circumstances have indeed changed. Changes in circumstances can include things, like a job change or job loss or a medical problem that increases expenses.

In order for a change in circumstances to qualify a person for a modification in alimony, the person will have to show that the change will be indefinite and is also significant enough to make the spousal support order as it exists unreasonable or inappropriate. For example, a one-time medical bill, even if it is significant, is less likely to merit a change in alimony than would be an ongoing illness.

And, the person wanting the change will have to show that the change was not considered as part of the current spousal support agreement. Some people may have good reasons for trying to get their spousal support payment modified. In some cases, doing so may be what saves the person from serious economic hardship.

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