Losing a job can make it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to pay spousal support. If you were ordered to pay support to your ex-spouse after your divorce, being unable to pay that bill may be frustrating. It could also mean that your ex-spouse will come after you and seek out what they feel they’re owed.
When you have an agreed arrangement, you do need to pay what the court has ordered. However, if you lost your job, you may be able to seek a spousal support modification in court. You can seek a modification in many situations, such as if you have lost your job, are starting a new job or if you find out that your ex-spouse has gotten a better job.
Reducing spousal support after a pay cut is not automatic, so don’t stop paying or reduce what you’re paying without speaking with your attorney and ex-spouse. You will need to submit a request to modify the support you pay to your local family court, and then the court will need to approve that request.
Keep paying what you owe until you have a court approval
Until you get approval from the court, you should continue to pay what you owe. If you do not, then your ex-spouse could accuse you of violating the court order and spousal support agreement that was in place. They can also ask the court to enforce the order, which could result in you having to pay even when you’re finding it difficult to do so.
If payment isn’t feasible, you can ask for help
If it’s no longer reasonable to make spousal support payments in the amount you paid in the past, it’s necessary for you to seek out a modification. Petitioning the court is the first step, so that the existing court order may be modified to reflect your new situation. In some cases, you may even be able to end spousal support obligations early, such as if you have lost your job and your ex-spouse has gotten a promotion or no longer needs financial support. This is something to look into, so you can get back into better financial shape.