Covid-19 has brought unprecedented uncertainty to our lives these days. In March alone, more than 700,000 people in the US lost their jobs. And the number of people testing with the virus (meaning they can’t work) is rapidly rising. Not to mention other circumstances, such as other illnesses or having to care for someone who’s sick, that may impact income.
If you are paying alimony and encounter a situation that’s beyond your control, you might need to seek to modify your alimony. Ideally, you should try to come to an amicable agreement with your ex-spouse first. Then, if you do, be sure to put it in writing and submit it to the courts through your lawyer. The agreement can be temporary and include time periods as to when it will be re-assessed.
If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, then the next step is to file a petition through your family law attorney. Keep in mind that you want to be proactive about the petition and get it done quickly so you can protect yourself from contempt of court, which your ex-spouse may seek. In addition, you need to prove that you have the inability to pay the current alimony assessment due to no fault of your own.
Depending on the severity of your situation, you might also want to pursue a motion to abate, which will put your alimony payments on hold. Regardless, the courts will rule based on need and ability to pay. And need should go down during this time as well because the ex-spouse will be spending less money on things like eating out, entertaining, traveling, shopping and more.
If you think you need to modify your alimony, we are here to help. Call us at 561-932-1988 or email Doreen Halickman at Doreen@familylawpalmbeach.com.