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When Can Spousal Support Be Modified After a Texas Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

North Texas Divorce LawyerWhen a couple chooses to end their marriage and get a divorce, both spouses may experience financial difficulties. Each spouse will need to make changes to their lives as they shift from combining their incomes and expenses to managing separate households. Most of the time, spouses will need to scale back on their spending and determine how to cut down on expenses so that they will be able to meet their ongoing needs. However, there may be some situations where one spouse may not earn enough to fully support themselves and maintain their standard of living. For example, stay-at-home parents may not earn any income, and they may rely on their spouse’s income to cover the family’s financial needs. In these cases, spousal maintenance/alimony may be appropriate. 

If a couple agrees that one spouse will pay spousal support to the other after their divorce, or if spousal maintenance is awarded by the judge in a couple’s divorce case, the determination of the amount that should be paid and the amount of time that payments will last will be based on the parties’ circumstances at the time of their divorce. However, it is likely that circumstances will change in the years following the end of a couple’s marriage. In some cases, an ex-spouse may believe that certain changes are significant enough to warrant a modification of spousal support. In these situations, it is important to understand how modification requests may be handled.

Modification or Termination of Spousal Maintenance

If a person believes that a spousal support order should be modified, they must file a motion to modify maintenance in the appropriate family court. Notice of this motion may be served to the other party, who may file a response to the request for modification. A hearing may be held in which the party requesting the modification will need to provide evidence demonstrating why the modification is needed.

Generally, modification requests must be based on a “material and substantial” change in circumstances for one or both parties. These may include changes that have affected the payor’s ability to meet their obligations, such as a job loss or an unexpected increase in expenses due to health issues affecting them or a member of their family. The payor may also demonstrate that the need for support is no longer necessary because the recipient has begun working and earning enough income to support themselves. 

Maintenance obligations will be terminated if the recipient remarries or begins living together with a new partner. A payor may request that maintenance be terminated based on evidence that the recipient has begun to cohabitate with a dating or romantic partner in a permanent residence and on a continuing basis.

If a judge determines that modifications are necessary, they may issue a new maintenance order that changes the amount and/or duration of spousal support payments, or they may order maintenance to be terminated. However, modifications will only apply to payments that have accrued or will accrue after the date the person filed a request for modification. Any payments that were due prior to filing the modification request must be paid in full.

Contact Our Collin County Spousal Support Modification Attorney

If you believe that modifications to the amount of spousal support you pay to your ex-spouse should be modified, or if you are the recipient of spousal support who needs to respond to a modification request by your ex-spouse, the Law Office of Philip W. Moore, Jr. can help you determine your options. We will provide you with representation in court hearings and help you secure an outcome that will protect your financial interests. Contact our Frisco post-divorce modification lawyer today at 972-954-6455 to set up a free consultation.




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