New York courts have the power to grant individuals alimony pursuant to their divorces. If, for example, one party would be unable to support themselves due to a lack of income following the finalization of their divorce, then the court may require their ex to provide them with financial support. Generally, individuals should not suffer significant financial hardships just because they want to end their marriages.
However, over time, the financial circumstances of a person may change. A once unemployed individual may work to obtain a degree or may find a good opportunity to re-enter the workforce and make their own wages. A person who receives alimony may discover that they are employable and they have the capacity to support their own needs without the help of their former spouse.
Alimony is often ordered by a judge, and to change judicially mandated obligations, individuals usually must secure judicial permission. They may do this by filing a motion to modify the existing alimony order that requires them to pay money to their former spouse.
A motion to modify an alimony order may achieve different legal goals. If a person is able to work but still not able to completely support themselves, then the motion may reduce the amount of money the paying party must provide. Or, if a recipient spouse can take care of their own financial needs, then the motion may explore ways of ending it before its previously established term.
A person should be sure that a change to their alimony award is in their best interests before they decide to seek a modification. They may want to discuss their plans with their family law attorney to be sure that their intended courses of action will serve their needs.