Tough Times: Seeking an Alimony Award Modification

Thank you for joining me. My name is LaSheena Williams, and I am a Maryland family law attorney. My firm helps our clients take control of out-of-control domestic situations. Today, we will be discussing seeking an alimony award modification.

What is alimony award modification?

An alimony award modification is a formal request to the court seeking to change the terms of an alimony order. It’s a post-judgment request to the court asking the court to either increase, decrease, or stop the alimony award.

When to consider modification?

If you are currently a payor of alimony, it’s important to consider your life circumstances when seeking a modification of alimony. If you were making a certain amount of money and your income has drastically decreased or you were laid off or any number of factors to make it difficult for you to maintain the award of alimony that the court has ordered, it’s important that you reach out to the court as soon as possible it’s important because your spouse, well your former spouse, may seek to enforce the alimony award and you may not be in a position to actually pay it anymore. It’s important for the court to understand your position so that they can address those issues before you are found to be in contempt or before they issue an order enforcing the terms of the Judgment of Absolute Divorce. [Music]

Can alimony be modified?

Alimony can be modified, but under specific circumstances. If, for some reason, you obtained a divorce by agreement, typically, those agreements include language that states that alimony is non-modifiable, which means the court can’t come back in and change the word of alimony whether you’ve waived alimony, whether you’ve had an award of alimony that’s significantly higher than you can afford. The court has no authority based on the agreement that you both entered and incorporated into your judgment of the divorce to modify that order. If the court issues an order granting alimony you can go back to the court and request that your award of alimony be modified to meet the current needs of your situation.

Managing Expectations

When seeking an alimony award modification, it’s important to understand what your legal rights are. You need to make sure that the agreement you entered does not include language that requires the alimony to be non-modifiable. You also need to understand that you may be required to continue making payments on alimony until the judge or a judge issues an order modifying or terminating the alimony award. Otherwise, you may be found to be in contempt, and you may be ordered to pay attorney’s fees and the situation can escalate so that you’re actually in a worse position than before you’ve even made the request for an alimony award modification to begin with.

If you have any questions about alimony award modifications or any other post-judgment enforcement or modifications, contact the Law Office of LaSheena M. Williams at (301) 778 – 9950 or leave an online request for a consultation.