How can you modify your alimony?

You can file a Petition for Modification of Alimony if you:

  • Did not receive your alimony payments in one lump sum
  • Are not prevented from doing so by your divorce decree (i.e. you did not waive your ability to seek future modifications)
  • Have experienced a substantial change in circumstances, which could be for the better or the worse. A lost job would count and getting a much better job would also qualify.

Either party can file a petition for alimony modification in Georgia. The judge will review both parties’ budgets, assets, and debts to determine one spouse’s need and the other’s ability to pay.

Why would a judge increase alimony?

If you want the judge to increase your alimony then you will have to prove that what you are receiving is not enough.  The judge would need to see circumstances like:

  • You lost your job
  • You took an involuntary pay cut
  • You took on unexpected, extraordinary expenses

Be prepared to prove that the adverse circumstances you are experiencing were unavoidable and beyond your control.

Why would a judge decrease alimony?

The judge will be looking for the same items listed above except that circumstances have changed for the person who is paying, not receiving, alimony. You will still need to provide proof that it was beyond your control and unavoidable. You will also have to show what actions you have taken to find a new job if you have lost employment.
It is actually quite rare for someone to try to modify their alimony but the option is there if you need it.