Alimony Modification and Termination
Once alimony is established, the payor and payee must be aware of the scenarios where alimony can be modified or terminated. The most common scenario warranting a modification of alimony is based on a “changed circumstance” that has occurred since the divorce or subsequent agreement setting forth a support obligation.
This legal principle was established in Lepis v. Lepis, a seminal case in which our partner Francis Donahue, Esq. argued before the Supreme Court. Now, our Legislature has codified the various factors to consider when determining if a modification of alimony is warranted, especially in cases of loss of employment or an involuntary reduction in income including but not limited to a diligent job search, the payor’s health, the reason for the loss of income, etc. Our firm is able to provide guidance on the intricacies of seeking to modify an alimony obligation and the likelihood of success based on your circumstances.
In addition to modifying alimony, there are also events which warrant a termination of alimony. These events include the payee’s remarriage or the death of either spouse. Also, alimony may be suspended or terminated when the party receiving alimony cohabits with another person in a mutually supportive, intimate personal relationship, pursuant to various factors in our alimony statute.
Retirement also plays a role in the modification and/or termination of alimony obligations. Indeed, the amendment to the alimony statute recently provided the framework for determining a termination of alimony 1) when the payor reaches full Social Security retirement age 2) for a future, prospective good faith retirement and 3) when the payor retires and the alimony obligation existed prior to September 10, 2014. The termination of alimony based upon retirement is explained in more detail on our page entitled Alimony and Retirement.
The guidance of an experienced family law attorney is invaluable when addressing a request for the modification of alimony. Contact the attorneys at Donahue Hagan Klein & Weisberg for the legal knowledge, advice and advocacy necessary to address your alimony concerns.
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