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What can cause spousal or child support payments to be changed?

Posted on December 7, 2017

During the divorce settlement there will be decisions made about the amount that needs to be paid on a regular basis for spousal and/or child support.

Whether this amount is determined through a collaborative process, mediation, or determined by a judge, it is a legal obligation to ensure this amount is paid.

However, it is possible for this payment to be changed if the payer’s financial circumstances change considerably or the children’s living arrangements change. Updates to the payment requirements must be done through the legal system and documented properly.

Close up of female making adjustments to spousal or child support paymentsMaterial Change of Circumstances

If it can be shown that there was a significant change of circumstances – perhaps the loss of a job, a major health issue or a similar event – then it is possible to apply for an update to the agreement.

At this time you can work together with your ex collaboratively, along with a family lawyer, to update the agreement.

If your ex does not agree to update the terms, it is possible to apply for a judge to review your case on what is known as a Motion to Change.

Note that early voluntary retirement or financial troubles caused by frivolous personal spending aren’t likely to bring about a reduction of support payments.

Fraud, deception or unfair terms

It is also possible to bring a request to update the terms of support payments if you discover that your ex withheld information or lied in the initial settlement.

You will need to provide detailed evidence in order to prove that the initial agreement was inaccurate or unfair. A family lawyer can help you form a strategy and give you the legal expertise you need to present your facts.


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