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When You Can’t Keep Up With Your Spousal Support Payments

On behalf of Tasha K. Schaffner of Schaffner Family Law posted in divorce on Saturday, February 3, 2018.

You did it. You went through the divorce process and are now working on moving forward in your life. As part of your divorce decree, you’ve been ordered to pay spousal support — also known as maintenance — to your ex. At first it was okay, but a change in circumstances has made it difficult to keep up with this obligation. What can you and other Kentucky residents in your situation do to turn things around?

When a divorce decree is finalized, you may not feel that you can change it down the line. It’s final, right? Not necessarily. While there are some things you may not be able to change, modifications to maintenance obligations are possible.


If you can no longer afford to keep paying your ex the amount ordered by the court, you may be able to successfully seek a modification to that order. There are two ways to do this: work out a new agreement with you ex or go to court. Some former spouses are willing to accept less either temporarily or permanently. If the two of you can negotiate new terms, you will still need to submit the changes to court for approval and an official order modification.

If you and your ex cannot see eye to eye on the situation, you may file a modification request in court. Along with it, you will want to send any supporting documentation that will help your cause — such as:

  • Bank statements
  • Proof of employment change
  • Proof of income reduction
  • Proof of financial hardship

Your ex may still try to fight your adjustment request, but a judge will get the final say in the matter.

Do it sooner rather than later

In Kentucky, a change of circumstances is usually enough for a judge to agree to a modification request. It is best to seek a maintenance change sooner rather than later, as missing support payments will not paint you in a good light and could cost you in the long run.

If you are struggling to meet your spousal support obligation, the sooner you take action the better off you will be. With a little legal assistance, you can either work with your ex to create a new plan that fits into your budget or you can go to court in order to seek an affordable payment schedule. Either way, if successful, it can significantly help you as you work to get your financial situation back in order.

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