Updating Your Agreement to Reflect What You Can Afford to Contribute
Spousal support is intended to help a lower-earning spouse maintain their marital lifestyle after divorce. However, when the paying party loses their job, it can be tough for them to maintain that standard of living themselves, let alone fund it for another person. Luckily, Massachusetts recognizes that such events could happen. As such, alimony agreements are generally modifiable.
What to Do When You’ve Lost Your Job
Massachusetts law allows judgments to be modified if the parties involved experience a significant and material change in circumstances. Job loss is one such eligible event.
If you’ve lost your job, you should continue to make honest efforts to pay alimony in the full amount described in your agreement. If you genuinely do not have the means to do so, you should still try to pay as much as possible. You should never pay nothing.
Talk to your ex about your changed financial position to inform them of your inability to make the full payment on time. This gives the other party proper notice so that they can find another way to budget their monthly income and afford their expenses.
Our lawyers will help you pursue a modification either through Rule 412 or a Complaint for Modification, depending on whether your ex agrees to the terms of your proposed modifications.
Changes by Agreement
If you and your ex-spouse are seeking a mutually-agreed-upon modification, you may qualify for a modification through Rule 412. This is an administrative process that does not usually require appearance in court. Our attorneys will help you retrieve and complete the necessary forms and submit them to the Probate and Family Court that issued the original alimony judgment.
Changes by Petition
If either party objects to the terms of the changes, the person seeking an adjustment must file a Complaint for Modification, serve the other with notice, and attend a hearing. These complaints are typically accompanied by a Motion for Temporary Order asking for more immediate assistance by granting an instantaneous reduction in support expectations.
If your recent unemployment is affecting your ability to pay spousal support, our attorneys can help. Contact Kovacs Law, P.C. today for more information.