As part of your divorce decree, the court either awarded you or ordered you to pay spousal maintenance. Courts do not grant alimony in every divorce case, so your familial and financial circumstances played a major role in your order. Things have changed since the court issued the order, and now you are wondering if you can seek a maintenance adjustment. Thankfully, yes, the state of Colorado does allow for such post-decree modifications.
Who can seek an alimony adjustment? Why might the court consider granting it? Are these requests always approved?
It does not matter if you are on the paying or receiving side of a maintenance order. If you have sufficient reason to request a modification you may do so. The process of doing this is the same regardless if you are the payor or payee. First, you can attempt to work out a new agreement with your ex -- in private, with the assistance of counsel or in mediation. If that fails, you can file an official petition in court.
When courts approve
There are few reasons that courts may approve an alimony adjustment request. Those reasons are:
- Both parties agreeing to new terms
- Payor experiencing a change in income
- Payee experiencing a change in income
- Payee entering a serious relationship
- Financial emergency
- Change in cost of living expenses
The court will be looking for an overall change in circumstances. Primarily, the change will need to affect the payor's ability to meet the current support order or the payee's need for increased support.
When courts refuse
Maintenance adjustment requests are not always approved. Again, there is a need to show sufficient evidence that your situation warrants an increase or decrease. If you cannot do that, the courts will not be too inclined to grant your or your former spouse's request.
Do not go it alone
When in need or want of a maintenance adjustment, you may feel you have to face the matter alone. The truth is you do not. It is possible to seek assistance negotiating new terms or litigating the case in court.
A maintenance adjustment can be a hard thing to come by. However, with the right information and the proper assistance, it is not out of the realm of possibilities. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you can prove and what you need when it comes to determining if a modification is called for.