End Alimony in Hanover

When a couple separates and one of the members of the partnership provided greater support throughout the relationship, was more successful, or a variety of other factors were in place, the more financially responsible member is often obligated to cover an alimony award for their soon-to-be or ex-spouse. The payment is determined by the status of the spouses at the time of the finding of the court, however, it is not always going to remain accurate. In time, the circumstances of the ex-spouse can change, and you or your ex-spouse may then petition the court for a modification to your alimony agreement. 

Alimony can be modified or terminated when there has been a significant change in the financial or life circumstances of a member of the couple. The process of modifying or terminating alimony can be complex and require the review of substantial evidence. To ensure that the process is completed accurately and the outcome is just, it is helpful to work with an experienced Hanover alimony termination lawyer at O’Connor Family Law. 

We Help Make Terminations and Modifications Happen 

If you meet the grounds noted above for a modification or termination, then it still must be filed. You’ll need to gather evidence to prove your position, and assemble it in a format that the courts will accept and incorporate into your pleading. It does not matter which spouse files for the modification of alimony, the court is only willing to consider alimony modification or termination when the petitioner is capable of proving a substantial change in conditions that justifies it. 

While there are a variety of grounds upon which alimony orders can be modified or terminated, following are the most common reasons:

  • The party in receipt of the alimony funds has received a promotion at work leading to a substantial and positive change in income
  • The party providing the support has lost their source of income or capital, leading to an inability to continue meeting their financial obligations 
  • The party in receipt of alimony has begun to cohabitate with a different intimate partner
  • The party in receipt of the alimony award remarries 
  • The supporting party experiences a serious injury or illness, leading to them being unable to work and thereby generate their contribution 

It is important to recognize that while it would be ideal if certain situations caused the automatic termination or alteration of alimony decrees, that is not the case. Unless specific situations such as cohabiting with a new romantic partner, remarrying, getting a job promotion, or other conditions are not written into the initial alimony order, a court order is essential. 

While it is best to write these modifications into the original court order of the alimony, this is not always possible or executed in time. However, not all changes in circumstances are considered effectively ahead of time, and may not be included. In such instances, a formal modification petition must be filed, and your petition will be taken up by a judge. 

Acting Fast is Recommended to Mitigate the Negative Impact of Change

When there is a change in the situation of a member of the former couple, failing to act fast leads to one of two outcomes. If a member of the former couple has a decrease in their capacity to provide the alimony they had been ordered to pay and it isn’t quickly changed, the amount they are forced to pay might be unsustainable. This can place the responsible party in dire financial straits, which can also happen if the party in need has a sudden increase in need that is not addressed. 

When circumstances change and you make the decision to file a modification of your alimony with the court, it is essential to note that the modification dates back only to the date that the modification complaint was served. For example, if you are the responsible party liable to pay alimony support payments to your ex, and you lose your job but wait three months to file for a modification, then it takes two months to process, it only dates back two months. If you were to have filed immediately, then the modification takes effect from the date of service, and your assets and financial stability is better protected. 

Dodging Alimony or Stealthily Trying to Reduce it Doesn’t Work

If a member of the couple tries to avoid alimony or reduce their obligation by quitting a job, or taking a lesser paying job, is not a strategy the courts will accept. Voluntarily reducing income or changing or ending employment to avoid alimony payments can lead to a judge inputting the higher income amount of the petitioner, regardless of their present income ,which could mean that you’d have to continue paying a higher alimony amount, despite making less income. 

Our Team of Hanover Alimony Lawyers Can Defend Against Disadvantageous Changes

It is helpful to be proactive about your alimony termination or modification if you anticipate a change in your employment. Taking a lesser paying job for a time may in fact be a positive career move, and through proactive filings with the court, you can ensure it is perceived in this way by the court. The best way to avoid a surprise and an unplanned reaction to it is to manage surprises, and the terms of your alimony agreement. 

Start Your Next Chapter with Financial Clarity: Discuss Alimony Termination Options with an Experienced Lawyer

The process of terminating alimony requires an understanding not only of Massachusetts law, but also your local court’s procedures and norms. The highly experienced Hanover alimony attorneys from our firm have 35 years of experience in family law in the state. Our attorneys can extend to you the value of their extensive experience, advising you on the legal basis through which you can modify or terminate your alimony agreement. 

To get started, contact us online or give us a call at 774-703-3755 to learn more.