If you’re paying spousal maintenance and want to modify your agreement, it’s important to know the process. This will help you avoid wasting time and money on a court case that may not be successful.
A significant change in circumstances can constitute a valid reason to modify a spousal support order. Your attorney can help you gather evidence for these changes and present it to the court.
File a Motion
If you want to change something in your spousal support agreement, you must file a motion with the court. This process can be complicated, but you should work with an attorney who has experience with modifying alimony agreements.
New York courts allow spouses to modify spousal support, or alimony, when a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. This can include a job loss, a medical emergency, or other life events that make it more difficult to pay your current spousal support award.
To file a motion, you must fill out a Notice of Motion and Supporting Affidavit form at the Small Claims Court office or online. You should explain why you are making the request and include any relevant evidence that supports your argument.
Schedule a Hearing
When someone wants to modify a spousal support agreement, there are a few steps they will need to take. First, they will need to file a petition with the court, detailing the change in circumstances that they believe is warranted.
Another step is to schedule a hearing. During this hearing, both parties will have the chance to present their cases and argue for why they think a modification is necessary.
If you are considering a modification of your spousal maintenance order, it is important to consult an attorney before filing. This will ensure that you have a firm understanding of the law and how to best pursue a modification.
File a Response
If you’re the defendant in a case filed by the plaintiff (the person asking for the change) to modify a spousal support agreement, you have 20 days from the date of service to file a “Response” or “Reply.”
You may do so directly with the court or by eFile. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you can request a fee waiver from the court.
There is a rebuttable presumption that spousal support should decrease when a recipient of spousal support begins cohabitating with another person. However, the presumption can be rebutted when the recipient spouse shows that their new relationship does not affect the financial situation of the supported party.
Negotiate a Modification Agreement
A spousal support order, also called alimony, is an important part of any divorce settlement. It is designed to help a lower-income spouse become self-sufficient after a separation and divorce.
Typically, it is a monthly payment received by one spouse from the other. The amount and duration of spousal maintenance will vary from case to case, and it is usually subject to modification when there is a substantial change in circumstances.
If you need to modify your spousal support award, you should talk with an attorney as soon as possible. They can help you prepare your paperwork and show the judge that you have considered all factors in determining your spousal support.
Appear in Court
If your situation has changed significantly since your divorce, you may be able to modify a spousal support agreement. Often, these changes can be related to an involuntary event like the loss of a job or the death of a spouse.
If you’re modifying an existing spousal support order, you should follow a set process to ensure your chances of success. First, you should file a motion with the court.
Once the judge receives your petition for a modification, he or she will consider it and review all the evidence presented to make a decision.
When you appear in court, you should arrive on time and dress appropriately for the case. You should also bring all the relevant documentation with you.