What Are the Legal Steps for Modifying Alimony Agreements in South Jordan?

What Are the Legal Steps for Modifying Alimony Agreements in South Jordan?

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What Factors Do Courts Consider When Awarding Alimony in Utah?

One issue courts often determine in divorce cases is alimony. It comprises payments the payor spouse makes to support the dependent spouse after the nullification of the marriage. South Jordan family law attorneys explain that courts consider many factors when deciding how to award alimony:

  • The length of time the couple was married
  • The cause of the marital breakdown and who was at fault, for example, marital infidelity or intentionally causing or attempting to harm the other spouse or their child
  • The capacity of the paying spouse to make payments
  • The resources, debts, financial situation, and earning capacity of the dependent spouse
  • Custody and living arrangements of the minor children, if any

Under Utah’s alimony laws, alimony is payable for a period equal to the one the marriage lasted. For example, you will pay alimony for six years if your marriage lasted six years. However, circumstances could arise that warrant the modification of the alimony. The law allows you to file a petition to modify the payments to reflect the changes.

When Can I Modify Alimony in South Jordan?

Once alimony has been determined, the amounts are often not cast on stone. You can request alimony modification if you experience material and substantial changes in circumstances that make it difficult to continue with the payments. Such circumstances may not have been clearly indicated in the divorce decree or in the findings entered by the court at the time of the decree.

Alimony lawyers in South Jordan highlight the following significant factors that may warrant alimony modification:

  • A prolonged illness that makes it impossible for you to work
  • Loss of your source of income or retirement
  • Relocation for work or career opportunities
  • A change in the needs of the child, such as schooling or extra-curricular activities
  • Moving in with a romantic interest or remarriage by the receiving spouse
  • The receiving spouse receives an inheritance or takes a new job that pays them more money

If you have been paying alimony and later learn that the recipient remarried and didn’t notify you, you can request the court to help you recuperate some or all of the spousal support that you paid after the marriage unknowingly. Consult skilled South Jordan alimony attorneys to discuss your options.

What Are the Steps Involved in Modifying Spousal Support in Utah?

Once you establish the need to modify your alimony, the next step is to sign an agreement with your ex-spouse. Your alimony lawyers in South Jordan can help you create an agreement you and the other party will sign, but the modification process continues.

You must file the agreement in the court that issued the alimony order and a petition requesting to modify the alimony. If you and your ex-spouse can’t agree on a new alimony amount, your alimony attorneys in South Jordan can help you reach an agreement through mediation or trial.

If the court determines that your situation meets the “material and substantial” requirement, your petition to modify will proceed as the original case did. However, the focus will be narrow, based on the issues your changed circumstances affect.

What Factors Do Courts Consider When Modifying Alimony in Utah?

It’s essential to note that courts will typically only approve a modification request if you can provide adequate grounds for the necessity of the change. The process can be intensive, often requiring a reasonably high threshold of change to be effective in preventing frequent modification requests from the same parties.

In most modification requests in Utah, substantial changes generally fall in the category of changes in income or employment of either or both spouses. Courts will also consider several other nuances when modifying spousal support:

  • You didn’t anticipate the material and substantial changes during the divorce: If you anticipated that your ex-spouse would get a better-paying job during the divorce but still agreed to the current alimony payments, you may not be able to modify the payments based on this factor if the change happens during alimony remittance.
  • The change should not be temporary: A temporary income reduction or job change will likely not be approved as grounds for alimony modification. However, an exception to the rule would be if you’re unsure if the change is temporary or long-term. It would help to consult skilled family law attorneys to help you assess the situation.
  • Whether the change is voluntary: If you’re voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court may not approve your request for alimony modification. The judge could determine that you can still earn your previous income to continue paying the alimony you’re supposed to pay.
  • Proving cohabitation: It’s assumed that if a receiving party starts cohabiting with a new partner, the paying spouse can automatically stop paying alimony. However, courts require the paying party to prove that the recipient is cohabiting and request permission to terminate the payments. The process can be lengthy and fact-intensive.

A Skilled Family Lawyer Helping You Navigate Alimony Modification

Alimony modification must be informed by substantial and material changes that make it impossible or unnecessary to continue paying spousal support. The court must approve the modification, or you risk various penalties if you terminate or change the alimony amounts yourself. Consult skilled alimony lawyers in South Jordan if you wish to modify your alimony.

RCG Law Group hosts dedicated family law attorneys who can evaluate your alimony situation and guide you accordingly. Whether you’re a paying spouse seeking to have the amount reduced or a receiving spouse seeking to increase the amount, we can work with you to reach a favorable result. Call us at 385-503-3663 to schedule a case assessment.

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