Alimony - Changed Circumstances

Dear Vegas:

Greetings. Alimony is based on a number of factors…the length of the marriage, the income and income earning ability of both parties, marital fault, etc. Now, a review of the alimony is going to look at a lot of the same factors.

In the situation you describe, some of those factors would be the length of the marriage, the terms of the original alimony order or separation agreement (I assume it was an order since you plan to seek a reduction, which you cannot do with a separation agreement unless the language allows you to), the age of the parties, the standard of living of the parties, the income and income earning ability, etc. Also, all the new factors - including accumulation of estate, etc., are FACTORS for alimony, but not generally sources of funds for alimony.

So, here is some advice, if your ex-spouse is disabled, you are likely to still pay alimony. Continue looking for a job if you are not disabled and under the age of 65. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

I have paid alimony for 10 years. Ex-wife does not work. I expect to be laid off within the next 6 months. Prospects for obtaining comparable job and pay are not good, so I would like to just retire. I will immediately seek reduction or elimination of alimony. Will judgement likely be based on retirement income that is about 1/3 of what I make now? Or will the assets I have accumulated in the 10 years since the divorce become the basis for my ability to pay?

At the time of the dicorce, ex-wife claimed she was unable to work. She now receives $800/mo disability from Social Security.