After a divorce, court orders can keep exes connected for years. And often, these orders -- like orders for spousal support -- have financial repercussions on everyone involved. As such, it is important to ensure they remain fair as circumstances change over time.
If they are no longer fair, it can be possible to modify these orders. However, modification is only appropriate in certain situations.
Grounds for modification
As noted in North Carolina spousal support statutes, a party can seek modification or termination of support at any time after it is in place. However, modification requests must stem from a change in circumstances in order for a court to consider them.
There are numerous situations in which may warrant modification. Some common examples include:
- Marital reconciliation
- The receiving party starts cohabitating with someone else
- The death of either party
- Remarriage of the receiving party
- A substantial change in the financial resources of the paying spouse, like loss of job
Under these circumstances, a modification may be appropriate. The courts could approve a change in amount or frequency, or it could terminate the financial obligation altogether.
Restrictions on modification
Even if you believe there are circumstances that warrant modification, the decision is in the hands of the court and it may deny modification for many reasons. This could happen if the court deems a change is not substantial, if the change was taken into consideration when creating the order or if a loss of income is intentional.
Spousal support modification may make perfect sense to the person seeking it, but that doesn't mean it is a legally appropriate solution. And even if you think modification is unnecessary, the courts may see the situation differently.
As such, it can be important to discuss spousal support modification questions or concerns with an attorney. Having legal guidance can help you accurately assess your options and take the steps to pursue the desired outcome.