During the dissolution of marriage, one the common requests is alimony. If you are requesting for spousal support, you are implying that you will not be able to meet your monthly financial responsibilities due to a decrease in income because of the divorce. However, over time, you may find that your financial needs require an increase in the money that you are receiving every month. Here are some ways in which a family lawyer can have your spousal support reviewed and increased accordingly. 

Include a COLA clause in your alimony agreement

A COLA clause stands for Cost Of Living Adjustment. This is typically included in the initial agreement that is drawn for spousal support. It states that in the event that the annual cost of living increases, then you would be authorized to have that increase reflected in your spousal income too. Having a Cost of Living Adjustment clause in your alimony agreement decreases the chances of having to go back to court for an increment in your spousal support. It should be noted though that if the annual cost of living decreases, your ex-spouse has the right to petition a decrease in their alimony payments based on the COLA clause.

Establish there has been a material change in your financial circumstances

In the event that your alimony terms did not include the COLA clause, you can pursue an increase your alimony by petitioning the court. This course of action is recommended if your ex-spouse is not willing to negotiate the increase you are seeking in your spousal support. As such, the burden would be upon you to prove that you are warranted an increase in your spousal support. There are a number of situations in which your spouse would be obliged to increase your alimony payments if they can be proved in court. These include:

  • Your spouse's obligations have decreased: One of the factors that will affect the amount of spousal support paid is how obligations have been distributed between you and your ex-spouse. For instance, if your spouse were to relocate leaving you with the responsibility of spending more time with the children than your previous shared custody agreement, then you would be eligible to request for an increase in alimony, as their responsibilities will have decreased.

Your individual financial situation has changed: Another situation in which you can petition the court to review your spousal support is if your individual financial circumstances have changed. For instance, if you acquire an injury and can no longer adequately provide for yourself, then you can have your family lawyer petition for an increase in spousal support.