Last Spousal Maintenance payment made - now what?

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Re: Last Spousal Maintenance payment made - now what?

Unread postby dad2grls » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:57 pm

lionel2013 wrote:
Her lawyer requested $4,500 per month as permanent. The judge dismissed that and awarded 5 years but left it "modifiable."


"Modifiable" means the amount can be change for the duration of the award specified in the decree.


This is not correct. Modifiable support can be increased or reduced both in amount and term if a valid reason is given to the courts during the term of the original support order and at least in my state, the courts have jurisdiction to go back and open an expired support order should conditions warrant it.

This may vary between states to some degree, here's something I found that happened to be Ohio:

Can the duration of spousal support be extended or reduced? Yes, if the reason spousal support was awarded no longer exists. For example, if support is ordered to ease a spouse’s transition into the workforce, and they get a good job, support may no loner be necessary, or may be stopped altogether. Also, if an ex spouse is not yet self sufficient and support is set to terminate, the court may extend the duration of support.

Can spousal support be reinstated after it stops? Yes, if the reason for the termination ceases to exist, and the motion to reinstate is filed during the original duration of the support award.


https://www.stephensmargolin.com/blog/2 ... l-support/
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Re: Last Spousal Maintenance payment made - now what?

Unread postby lionel2013 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:00 pm

This is not correct. Modifiable support can be increased or reduced both in amount and term if a valid reason is given to the courts during the term of the original support order and at least in my state, the courts have jurisdiction to go back and open an expired support order should conditions warrant it.


I think it really depends on the state, and on the circumstances.

In IL, if support was court ordered (and so by definition reviewable, meaning, without a fixed termination date, which the courts here cannot order), the court can, and often does, change either the amount, or the duration, or both.

... Which is why many people here, including the undersigned, end up settling out of court and insert fixed termination dates in their MSAs. In this scenario, the court can still change the amount of the support while the original duration has not expired, but cannot change anything anymore once the originally agreed-upon payments have ended (except for CS payments which follow the latest legislation, regardless of when a given divorce was final). These MSAs are deemed contracts between two individuals, and the courts' sole duty, once having found them not to be "unconscionable" [their own way of saying "we think this agreement is reasonable, we will accept it], is merely to enforce their terms for as long as the MSAs stipulate - not beyond.
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Re: Last Spousal Maintenance payment made - now what?

Unread postby dad2grls » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:23 pm

lionel2013 wrote:I think it really depends on the state, and on the circumstances.


No doubt.

In IL, if support was court ordered (and so by definition reviewable, meaning, without a fixed termination date, which the courts here cannot order), the court can, and often does, change either the amount, or the duration, or both.

lionel2013 wrote:These MSAs are deemed contracts between two individuals, and the courts' sole duty, once having found them not to be "unconscionable" [their own way of saying "we think this agreement is reasonable, we will accept it], is merely to enforce their terms for as long as the MSAs stipulate - not beyond.


There is also no one who can effectively argue that a courts powers are severely limited as to what they can modify when the divorce orders are pertaining to a separation agreement between the two parties as compared to a court's ruling. That much being said, in some states and under certain circumstances the court does have the power to modify a separation agreement and, for example increase the duration and amount of alimony.

It all comes down to this. You never know what a court can and might do, it's very state dependent and also varies significantly even between judges in the same geographic location. All you can do is tilt the scales of justice in your favor, by settling the case with a strongly worded agreement that protects you as much as possible from changes later on, so you can sleep that much better at night. But until your exspouse is dead, or remarried- you still can't be completely sure that you're home free. Even if your exspouse gets married you aren't safe- there are numerous cases where the second marriage didn't work out and support that was terminated because of the remarriage is restated.
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Re: Last Spousal Maintenance payment made - now what?

Unread postby Tom Kirkpatrick » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:02 pm

The discussion on this thread, whether it be on one side or another, has everything to do with jurisdiction. In this case, OP's original question had to do with alimony modification under CO's old law, prior to Jan 1, 2014. With that in mind, here's an old discussion:

ozweepay wrote:
coscrewed wrote:As for Colorado, indeed it can be extended, and sometimes is...there is no such thing as "rehabilitative" alimony here, so whether or not the recipient gets a job means nothing. It is all about the lawyer and how the judge is feeling that day.

This is true even AFTER the alimony has ended. She could come back 1-2-10 years later and ask for it to be reinstated. All alimony here is designated "Permanent", which means the court reserves control FOREVER. Reinstatement is pretty rare, but it does happen.
In Colorado, alimony can be extended provided there is a "change in circumstances" that makes the original award "unconscionable" in light of the new situation.


Yes, Bart, a new illness can be claimed to win an extension or new award of alimony. In fact, the new illness can be something like fibromyalgia (a neurologic condition that has no physical source and thus cannot be proven or disproven clinically).

There was a Colorado court-of-appeals case that ruled that the trial court must explicitly provide for the possibility of modifying maintenance; without this, the award is non-modifiable. But the CO supreme court overruled this, saying every award of maintenance is modifiable.

From March, 2013 (New law took effect Jan 1, 2014) -
See; viewtopic.php?f=8&t=50307&p=375811#p375811

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