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Can alimony be adjusted due to employment changes?

When a Maryland couple goes through a divorce, spousal support is often a component of that process. Determining the amount of alimony that one spouse will pay the other is a complicated task, and involves a careful evaluation of the family's financial status. Once the alimony payment has been determined, it can be an uphill battle to change the amount of those payments.

This can create difficulty when the spouse tasked with making alimony payments experiences an employment shift. If his or her income takes a sharp decline, meeting post-marital financial obligations can be a problem. One solution is to approach the court and ask for a modification in alimony payments.

In order to be successful, it is necessary that the paying party present a strong argument to the court. This includes evidence that the change in income was involuntary and unavoidable. It is not enough to simply take a lower paying position that is more aligned with one's personal or professional goals. A reduction in alimony is usually only successful if the paying party has experienced an unexpected drop in income that was not in his or her control.

For Maryland spouses who would like to pursue modification of an existing alimony payment, the first step is a consultation with an experienced family law attorney. He or she can guide the spouse through the available options, and evaluate their chances of success based on the particular set of circumstances. Having that information can help Maryland residents determine if this is an option worth pursuing.

Source:, "Can I pay less alimony after job change?", Karin Price Mueller, Sept. 7, 2017

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