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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
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A couple of questions. Per my divorce stipulation, I am obligated

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A couple of questions. Per my divorce stipulation, I am obligated to pay alimony for the next 13 years at a set amount/month. We have been divorced for almost 5 years. At the time of the divorce, my ex-wife was not employed nor did she have full-time employment during the 20+ year marriage. My income has increased at a fairly normal pace. She is now employed, has purchased a house and is earning a good living (with alimony she now makes over $70k/yr). If I change jobs and start earning significantly more, is she able to request a modification of the alimony amount purely based on me making more money?

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Generally, just because you're making more money doesn't allow her to seek an increase. The purpose of alimony is to permit the dependent spouse to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Thus, as long as she is able to maintain her standard of living, then there should be no issue.

In order to get an increase, she would have to prove that there has been a "change in circumstances" since the divorce that would warrant an increase. The party who files the application has the burden to prove that there has been a "change in circumstances."

The most common "change in circumstances" is a major health problem(s), a loss of employment, failure of a business, or a decrease in income, and/or retirement.

Thus, an increase in your pay should not prompt an increase.
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