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Modifying Spousal Support Orders

As life changes and income levels fluctuate, so too must spousal support orders. At Venzon Law Firm PC, we help clients modify their spousal support orders to better reflect the realities of today’s financial circumstances.

Located in Buffalo, our attorneys represent individuals throughout Western New York and Canada in a range of spousal maintenance and child support issues.

Spousal Support Modifications

Spousal support may be modified, even when it was deemed “permanent.” The standard the court considers for modification is different depending on whether the support award was the part of an agreement between the parties or a court order after trial.

If the support award was part of an agreement between the parties, the party seeking modification must demonstrate an extreme hardship. Conversely, if the support award was judicially determined, the party seeking the modification must establish a substantial change in circumstances in the needs of the dependent spouse, or financial abilities of the obligor spouse that warrant modification. A party who willfully or voluntarily reduces income will not receive a reduction in support payments to the other party.

Remarriage And Cohabitation

In general, if the spouse receiving support remarries, spousal support will be terminated unless the agreement states to the contrary. However, cohabitation with a nonmarital partner will not automatically terminate a maintenance or alimony obligation. Parties by agreement may decide the terms of cohabitation that will terminate maintenance or alimony obligations.

Spousal Support Arrears

Unpaid maintenance obligations are not discharged by death, cohabitation or remarriage. In the event the arrears have been reduced to judgment, they cannot be modified. If the arrears have not been reduced to judgment, they may be modified only upon a showing of good cause for the party’s failure to request modification to the support award prior to accumulating arrears.

Interference With Visitation

A maintenance award may be modified in the event the party receiving spousal support prevents the party paying spousal maintenance from exercising his or her lawful visitation rights.

Contact The Venzon Law Firm PC

With almost three decades of experience, our attorneys have a thorough understanding of New York law. To inquire about modification of spousal support, contact the Buffalo divorce lawyers at Venzon Law Firm PC at 716-262-8282, or complete our quick contact web form. For more information about spousal support, please refer to our FAQ page.