When a couple gets a divorce in Wheat Ridge, Arvada, or Golden, one spouse is often ordered to pay spousal maintenance or alimony to the other in order to maintain the lifestyle the receiving spouse was accustomed to. This situation is usually the case when one spouse earned a significant amount more than the other, or when one spouse was a stay at home parent. But, what happens if the paying party loses their job and can no longer make payments?
No More Alimony Payments = Big Trouble in Arvada
Just like with any other order of the court, when the judge signs an order it is expected to be followed. Just because you lose your job, doesn’t mean you are off the hook for making payments. While you may believe you have a good reason to stop making payments or make a lesser payment, you can’t just decide to do it without expecting there to be legal consequences.
Legal Steps to Modify a Maintenance Order in Jefferson County
Obviously, the court is amenable to changing or modifying an order if the situation has changed, but you have to work it out through the court. The first step is to file a motion to modify maintenance. With this motion, you must prove that the situation has substantially changed from when the court entered the order. This change must show that the current order regarding alimony is unjust for your new situation – which is left to the discretion of the judge.
A Judge Granted My Motion to Modify Maintenance: Can I Get Money Back?
If you can successfully show the judge that your situation has changed drastically enough that a modification is necessary, then the Jefferson County Court family law judge will grant the adjustment or modification of the maintenance. The court then has the authority to lessen the amount you are required to pay or remove the maintenance requirement altogether. However, until the motion is granted, you must continue to make payments. If the judge rules favorably on the motion, then you may be able to get a refund on the maintenance payments made during the pendency of the proceedings, but you will not be able to get anything back from before the motion was filed.
If your situation has changed and you need a modification to your alimony order, contact the best family law attorneys from the Pearman Law Firm at 720-259-9528 or toll free 888-835-6339 for a free initial phone consultation.
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