Life is full of surprises ”“ sometimes bad ones. Financial surprises, such as an unexpected layoff, a medical emergency or a new career, in particular, can cause a great deal of upheaval in a person’s life, especially for someone recently divorced. If you are a divorcee who is dealing with alimony payments to your ex-spouse (we call it spousal maintenance in Colorado), you may run into dire straits that require modification to your payments.
In Colorado, the standard for maintenance modification is that there must be a “substantial and continuing change” in circumstances that make the current terms unfair. Temporary unemployment, for example, is something that would not meet the criteria for modification; it is substantial, but not continuing. Suffering a disability that directly leads to loss of income, though, would meet the criteria generally.
Modification can be made impossible, though, if at the time of divorce an agreement is made that the maintenance is contractual and non-modifiable, in which case modification may not be possible. If your court order anticipated future modification of maintenance upon the happening of certain events, such as retirement, than you may be able to modify the current maintenance amount based upon the current financial circumstances of the parties.
Steps to Take to Modify Maintenance
- Collect relevant information. This could include tax returns, W-2s, paystubs and other things like medical bills. You will need these to complete a Sworn Financial Statement.
- Revisit your original divorce documents. This will help you ensure that modification is possible under the original decree.
- Seek legal help. You are going to need the services of an experienced family law attorney to help make your case for maintenance modification.
Contact an Alimony Attorney in Denver Today
Alimony can be a complicated aspect of divorce, but it doesn’t have to be. The experienced alimony attorneys at Divorce Matters have the necessary skills to ensure you either pay or get paid the proper amount of alimony. Contact us today to learn more.