When a married couple decides to get a divorce, the court may ask one of the partners to pay spousal maintenance to the other partner. This is done to limit any unfair financial effects of a divorce by offering a constant income to a lower-wage or non-wage-earning-spouse.
The reason is that one of the spouses may have opted to stay at home, forgoing their career to support their family. Thus, this spouse requires time to develop skills to support themselves. Another reason could be to help the spouse maintain the same lifestyle after the divorce due to changes in income, bonuses, income tax, tax returns, taxable income, etc.
However, with time, you may find that you can no longer afford to pay spousal maintenance. In such cases, you can file a motion to modify spousal maintenance with the court giving the following reasons.
You Lost Your Job
Layoffs, terminations, pay cuts, or staff reductions could be the reason why you lost your job. If you lose the job against your will, it could be stated as a valid reason in the court for reducing the amount to be paid. Additionally, if you had to accept a pay cut, you can seek a modification to your spousal maintenance order.
But the key phrase is “against your will.” If you voluntarily quit your job, it would not be considered a valid reason for changing the amount that you have to pay.
You Have A Child With Your New Partner
Raising a child can be very expensive and the court understands this. The court also understands that people often move on after their divorces and begin a new family. You can thus expect the court to decrease your financial obligation to your ex-partner if you have a baby at your home.
However, if your new partner has children from their previous marriage, the court would not consider reducing the amount. It only considers the child that is your own.
You Former Spouse Is Living With A New Partner
In Colorado, you do not have to pay spousal maintenance if your former partner remarries. However, some people do not remarry but live together to continue receiving the payment. If you can prove that your former spouse is living with a new partner, you can go to the court citing that your former partner no longer needs the amount. This way, you can prompt the court decision in your favor.
If you become ill, your medical debts can put you in debt. Additionally, you would not be able to work due to disability or illness. So, your income reduces and your debt increases. You can cite this as a reason in the court to seek modification in how much you have to pay.
Your Spouse Inherits Or Is Now Independent
Someone dies in your former spouse’s family and they receive a considerable amount as an inheritance. Or maybe, your former partner decides to earn a degree, is working, and is able to support themselves. If you can prove any of these, you do not have to pay spousal maintenance or can seek reduction.