How Do I Request a Modification of Alimony?
A spouse wishing to change alimony must file a Petition for Modification of Alimony in the appropriate Georgia court. Along with the petition, the requesting spouse should present evidence substantiating the reasons for the modification. The presiding judge will consider the evidence and determine whether a substantial change has in fact occurred.
The spouse who did not request the modification will be able to present his or her own evidence against changing the previous order. The court may award attorneys’ fees, as well as court costs and related expenses, to the prevailing party in a modification proceeding.
What Sort of Evidence Should I Present in a Spousal Support Modification Proceeding?
To support your request to modify alimony, you will most likely need to include an affidavit or some other proof with your Petition for Modification. If the basis for a modification is a lost job, decreased pay, or decreased work hours, these changes must be beyond the control of the party making the claim. In other words, you cannot be responsible for losing your job, and you cannot intentionally work fewer hours or depress your income. Also, if you have lost your job, you should be able to demonstrate the actions you have taken to secure new employment.
Cohabitation as a basis for modification is much more difficult to prove. It is rare for the paying spouse to have direct evidence that the receiving spouse is living with someone in a romantic relationship. The factual circumstances surrounding cohabitation vary from one spouse to the next. In other words, what may be taken as evidence of cohabitation for one individual will not be evidence for another. Generally, however, there are some things that the paying spouse could present to show the receiving spouse is living with a romantic interest:
- A third party is paying the utility bills or other household expenses
- The receiving spouse is spending a great deal of time at the third party’s residence, or vice versa
- Either the receiving spouse or the third party declares that they are cohabiting
- Pictures or statements on evidencing cohabitation have appeared on social media
- The receiving spouse suddenly has more money due to financial support from the third party
Although many of these could point to cohabitation, actually obtaining the evidence may be a challenge. Further, any evidence you gather must be eligible for admission in court, which means following rules of evidence and other criteria. Your attorney will be able to discuss possible techniques for gathering the proof you need to present in court.
It is also important for you to know that if you do not prevail on your Petition for Modification on the basis of cohabitation, then you will be liable for the other spouse’s reasonable attorneys’ fees to defend against you.
Talk to a Lithonia Spousal Support Modification Attorney Today
If you believe you are eligible for alimony modification, let your attorney know right away. Remember, you cannot unilaterally change an alimony order without approval of the court; doing so could land you in front of a judge on contempt charges.
Let the skilled team at E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm, LLC, help. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.