Making The Complex

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Spousal support modifications based on income

For most Louisiana residents, alimony payments are determined at the time of divorce and remain in place for the duration of time outlined in the divorce agreement. In some cases, however, the spouse who is tasked with making spousal support payments encounters a significant change in his or her employment status. That can result in the need to alter the existing agreement, which usually requires a return to court.

Family courts are not usually receptive to requests to reduce alimony payments. In order to be successful, the petitioning spouse must present a strong legal argument to show why those changes should be made. That requires a significant amount of planning.

The court will also consider why the supporting spouse’s income has changed. It is not enough to simply accept a lower paying position that is more in line with one’s personal or professional goals. In order to receive a reduction in alimony, it is usually necessary to demonstrate a significant reduction in income that was outside of one’s control. The lower income should also be a permanent matter, and not based on a temporary reduction in hours.

For Louisiana residents who are interested in learning about their options, the first step lies in an initial consultation with a family law attorney. That professional can review the relevant information, and can present an opinion as to whether it is advisable to approach the court to ask for a reduction in spousal support obligations. Having that information in hand can make it far easier for Louisiana residents to determine how to proceed.

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


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