Substantial change of circumstances


I don’t know about alimony but I can tell you that substantial changes that may warrant modification of support are:
-change in custody or in visitation
-change in income of either party
-loss of job
-major increase in medical insurance cost
-child aging out (graduates high school and turns 18)
-day care/after school care
-birth of another child
The change has to be 15% or more over current amount (check calculator on this site) and they can adjust amount down or up.


All of the factors you mentioned could be circumstances that could be considered when determining if there was a substantial change in circumstances. However, you need to be able to prove to the court that the facts are different now than they were when the award was first made. For example, if you argued in court that the alimony was not enough to meet your expenses and the court made the order anyway, they may not agree that circumstances have changed.

The one that I see that may have an impact is if your investments are not producing the projected income, that is something that is different than what the court orginally considered.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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Please list some examples of what the Court would consider as a “substantial change of circumstances” for modification of alimony and child support. For instance, what if the alimony amount was insufficient? Cost of living increase? Assets depleted and not producing the projected income? Standard of living not being met by original award? Extreme disparity in living standards between the households for a minor child? Also, how is it possible to get an extention on alimony? I was granted alimony for 10 years, but at the end of the 10 year period, I will not have enough income to live! I will be 60 years old and was forced back to work after 20 years at age 50. When child support and alimony are gone, I won’t have enough to make it. I don’t have enough to make it now. Thanks.