After your divorce, changes in your life could lead you to a situation where your spousal support payments are making it financially difficult for you. If this happens, you can request a modification from the court.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly explains that to request a change in your alimony orders, you will need to have a significant change that will continue. For example, if you had a decrease in income due to being off work because you were sick, this is temporary and would not fit the requirements.

Conditions

A modification can reduce, increase or end your spousal support obligation. If the court decides to modify your order, it will only apply from that point forward. You cannot go back and adjust payments prior to your petition for the modification. If you owe payments from prior to the change, then those are still due for the amount you previously paid.

Triggering events

Typically, you will want a modification if you have a major change in your financial situation. However, there are a couple of important things you should keep in mind that will allow you to end your support payments.

The first is if your former spouse remarries. Once he or she remarries, alimony ends. In addition, if your former spouse lives with someone, you may also have a right to request an end to support. In general, the court will look at whether this is a cohabitation situation with a romantic partner.

Also, keep in mind, that if your former spouse dies, then spousal support ends as well. However, if you are the one receiving support, it may not end upon your former spouse’s death if you had an arrangement that says otherwise.