So confused...please help


#1

I have been paying alimony since 2010. $500/mo because is was trying to be a “nice guy” and didn’t get representation(yes, my ignorance). This is for life or until she remarries. The agreement does say that it is modifiable. Recently she lost a parent. She inherited a house and $60k cash plus life insurance. I cannot find out the amount of life insurance because it doesn’t go through probate. She just went on a vacation to the Bahamas. I went to consult a lawyer. The lawyer says that it doesn’t mean that it is a “substantial” change. I found out after the lawyer that she is now renting out the house she inherited. She kept our home in the divorce and never took my name off of it because I didn’t know it had to be in writing (again, ignorant) However, this does give me access to the mortgage info. Recently, she decreased the house payment by $250. I am so confused. If she has decreased monthly living expenses by $250, has increased income by having a rental property, and can afford to go to the bahamas, why does she need $500/mo from me. The original $500 I agreed to was to “even out” our incomes. So now, she should be making more than me. In addition, she probably has $150,000 in the bank. Should I find a new lawyer? The lawyer is from a huge firm and seemed uninterested in the case, she did not even ask to see the agreement, or copy of the will, etc that I brought with me. AVVO lawyers answered the question and said I probably have a case. Does anyone have experience with this, or know of a reasonable lawyer in the raleigh/durham area?


#2

Assuming you have a separation agreement and it includes a provision that says the agreement and/or alimony can be amended or modified, then yes, you can try to renegotiate the alimony terms with your ex-wife. A problem you may have is that your ex-wife does not have to agree that the separation agreement be amended. Your separation agreement is a contract entered voluntarily between the two of you, and as such, any amendments would also be entered voluntarily by each of you. So while your separation agreement may be able to be amended, if your ex-wife does not agree to it, then you will not be able to actually amend the agreement.