What Events May Trigger Modification Of Spousal Support?

If you have thought about trying to change your spousal support order, you should know that New Jersey divorce decrees can always be modified. A court can modify many elements of the decree when circumstances change, including spousal support. In New Jersey, modifying spousal support requires your attorney to file a Lepis motion. A Lepis motion requests that the court change the spousal support order based on changed circumstances. Examples of changes in circumstances include:

  • The payor loses his or her job.
  • The payee inherits a large amount of money.
  • Either party encounters a major medical event that requires expensive treatment.
  • The payee moves in with a new partner.
  • Tax law changes.

These are only a few examples of significant changes in one person's financial situation. If you have spousal support questions about your own circumstances, talk to Robin Jill Schneider, a lawyer with more than 30 years of family law experience and a New Jersey Supreme Court- Certified Matrimonial Attorney.

Courts Do Not Grant Every Modification Request

If you want the court to modify your spousal support (also referred to as alimony), you must convince the court that the change in circumstances has greatly affected your ability to support yourself, or your former spouse has had a major change in circumstances, and the change is ongoing. The court may deny the Lepis motion if the divorce decree already predicted and accounted for the changed circumstances.

Courts often use spousal support to help one spouse establish a new life after the divorce, with the expectation that they will eventually be able to support themselves or will remarry. The payor rarely intends for spousal support to last for life.

Talk To Our Experienced Attorney

Get your spousal support questions answered today by calling our Matawan office at 732-812-4944 or sending us an email. We offer free initial consultations, and represent clients in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties.