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TramLaw
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Reged: 11/24/07
Posts: 4
Can I modify Spousal Support
      #324566 - 11/24/07 09:59 PM

Divorced wife of 10 years in Colorado. Ex had attorney and I did not. Her attorney calculated spousal and child support. Not knowing better and with hopes that ex and I would resolve our differences and possibly get back together...I agreed to it all.
Spousal is set at 2,880 per month until she remarries(otherwise no end to payments).
Child for 2 kids set at 1,115 per month.
Leaves me with a net take home of 1,500 to live on. I know that I was stupid to agree...don't need those comments. Divorce was final in March '07. Began paying temporary orders in Sept '06.
My pay has gone down approx $8500 per year since the orders were made.
Can I take her back to court and have the spousal changed to a more reasonable number? Would the courts frown on that and do you think I would be successful at getting it changed?


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Goodmom
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Reged: 06/17/07
Posts: 2084
Re: Can I modify Spousal Support [Re: TramLaw]
      #324570 - 11/24/07 10:09 PM

[quote]Divorced wife of 10 years in Colorado. Ex had attorney and I did not. Her attorney calculated spousal and child support. Not knowing better and with hopes that ex and I would resolve our differences and possibly get back together...I agreed to it all.
Spousal is set at 2,880 per month until she remarries(otherwise no end to payments).
Child for 2 kids set at 1,115 per month.
Leaves me with a net take home of 1,500 to live on. I know that I was stupid to agree...don't need those comments. Divorce was final in March '07. Began paying temporary orders in Sept '06.
My pay has gone down approx $8500 per year since the orders were made.
Can I take her back to court and have the spousal changed to a more reasonable number? Would the courts frown on that and do you think I would be successful at getting it changed? [/quote]

Depends on the reason for the decrease in pay. If it was voluntary, then you are probably out of luck.

Personally, I would contact an attorney to see if you can get an end date other than when she remarries. Typically, spousal support usually only lasts half the marriage.

Typically, the only time that it would be indefinite is when it is a very long-term marriage (as in 20+ years), which yours wasn't.


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Relayer
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Reged: 03/13/07
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Re: Can I modify Spousal Support [Re: TramLaw]
      #324606 - 11/25/07 03:00 AM

[quote]Divorced wife of 10 years in Colorado. Ex had attorney and I did not. Her attorney calculated spousal and child support. Not knowing better and with hopes that ex and I would resolve our differences and possibly get back together...I agreed to it all.
Spousal is set at 2,880 per month until she remarries(otherwise no end to payments).
Child for 2 kids set at 1,115 per month.
Leaves me with a net take home of 1,500 to live on. I know that I was stupid to agree...don't need those comments. Divorce was final in March '07. Began paying temporary orders in Sept '06.
My pay has gone down approx $8500 per year since the orders were made.
Can I take her back to court and have the spousal changed to a more reasonable number? Would the courts frown on that and do you think I would be successful at getting it changed? [/quote]

You can attempt to modify anything you want as along as there is a valid cause. As GoodMom said, if there is a valid reason to why your income went then, then try for a modifcation.

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googledad
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Reged: 12/31/05
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Re: Can I modify Spousal Support [Re: TramLaw]
      #324704 - 11/25/07 12:18 PM

You can appeal to the court that the divorce was granted in and hope the agreement is found to be "unconscionable " .

When court has power to modify maintenance. A trial court has authority to test a settlement agreement on the standard of present unconscionability and for possible modification of maintenance under two circumstances: If the agreement or the decree reserves that power to the trial court, or, if the agreement and the decree are silent on the power to modify. In re Thompson, 640 P.2d 279 (Colo. App. 1982).

The court retained jurisdiction to modify the separation agreement where the agreement specifically provided that the issue of retirement benefits obtained as a result of the husband's military service shall remain open and modifiable. In re Sinkovich, 830 P.2d 1101 (Colo. App. 1992).

Restriction of court's jurisdiction to modify must be unequivocal. While subsection (6) permits the parties to restrict the jurisdiction of the court to modify the maintenance terms of a settlement agreement, such a restriction must specifically and unequivocally preclude modification. In re Rother, 651 P.2d 457 (Colo. App. 1982).

Where maintenance provision not modifiable. Where there was no reservation in the trial court of the power to modify a maintenance provision, the court cannot do so later. In re Thompson, 640 P.2d 279 (Colo. App. 1982).

The waiver of the right to seek modification in and of itself could well be the consideration for a concession in the amount or duration of maintenance, or in the property received by a party. Thus, to permit reconsideration of the amount of maintenance contracted for, without also reopening the property division, would be inequitable. In re Thompson, 640 P.2d 279 (Colo. App. 1982).

Modification by parties' agreement not reservation to court of power. The fact that an agreement allows modification by agreement of the parties is not a reservation to the court of the power to modify; rather, it is a limitation on the court's power. In re Thompson, 640 P.2d 279 (Colo. App. 1982).

Only unequivocal language in the terms of the settlement precludes the court from modifying the support provisions. No such language existed where the settlement provided that the period for payment of maintenance could be extended by further order of the court. Aldinger v. Aldinger, 813 P.2d 836 (Colo. App. 1991).

Where the parties' dissolution decree incorporated a separation agreement that stated that the husband's retirement benefits remained open and modifiable, the trial court had the authority to divide the husband's military retirement pension. In re Sinkovich, 830 P.2d 1101 (Colo. App. 1992).

Modification of agreement permitted upon showing of fraud or overreaching. Where the terms of a divorce decree specifically preclude modification, without the written consent of the parties, a court can modify the agreement only upon a showing of fraud or overreaching. In re Cohen, 44 Colo. App. 200, 610 P.2d 1092 (1980).

Where separation agreement and alimony not modifiable. Where a separation agreement was adopted and incorporated into the decree of divorce, and the agreement did not reserve to the court jurisdiction to modify the terms of the alimony provision, nor did the court in its order adopting and incorporating the agreement into the divorce decree specifically reserve the right to modify the terms thereof, the court cannot later modify the agreement or the alimony provisions. Burleson v. District Court, 196 Colo. 455, 586 P.2d 665 (1978).

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Susanf31
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Re: Can I modify Spousal Support [Re: TramLaw]
      #324783 - 11/25/07 03:30 PM

It does matter why you agreed to that "deal", but you are an adult and it's what you agreed to. If you buy a car and then later find out that you paid too much, you can't go get your money back. You agreed to that price so that's what you pay.

If your reduction of income was due to no fault of your own, you do stand a chance of having it modified downward.

When you say that you are left with only $1500 a month, is that after taxes and other withholdings?

What is your annual income?


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sadie46
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Reged: 04/21/06
Posts: 186
Re: Can I modify Spousal Support [Re: Susanf31]
      #324927 - 11/25/07 09:01 PM

If your TRUE income goes down..ie lay off or self employed, ask for motion to modify. You no longer make that money...right? Prove it to the courts. If her alimony is based YOUR income and it is not fair and you can prove call a lawyer and talk facts. If she fights fights you...you better have a leg to stand on. No fraud!

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googledad
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Re: Can I modify Spousal Support [Re: Susanf31]
      #324935 - 11/25/07 09:22 PM

It does matter why you agreed to that "deal", but you are an adult and it's what you agreed to. If you buy a car and then later find out that you paid too much, you can't go get your money back. You agreed to that price so that's what you pay.

>>>>>>>>>>>> There is no similarity in those situations . Read up on stipulated divorce settlements in Colorado .

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Careful. We don't want to learn from this.


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Susanf31
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Re: Can I modify Spousal Support [Re: googledad]
      #325071 - 11/26/07 11:58 AM

I'm well aware of divorce laws in Colorado.

It depends on how much he makes if an $8000 drop in income warrants a reduction.

He agreed to this settlement. He must show a compelling and continuous change of circumstance to warrant a modification. An "oops, I no longer like what I agreed to" won't fly.


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googledad
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Re: Can I modify Spousal Support [Re: Susanf31]
      #325123 - 11/26/07 01:46 PM

Really ? Maybe you should check out 14-10-112 Separation Agreements , Article III Unconscionable Agreements .

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Susanf31
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Re: Can I modify Spousal Support [Re: googledad]
      #325132 - 11/26/07 01:52 PM

I did. And I don't find his agreement unconsciousable. He is obviously intelligent. He obviously knew he had a right to his own lawyer.

Just because he now doesn't like what he agreed to doesn't make it conconsciousable.

Nothing has changed except a decrease of $8000. THat decrease, if involuntarly, might get his a slight reduction, but that's all.


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