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What do I do if I can no longer pay spousal support?

Life happens. You knew that when you first got divorced - not everything works out. Unfortunately, if your financial situation changes for the worse, you may face an entirely new burden.

For those who are paying spousal support, a hit to your financial status can feel overwhelming - especially since Virginia requires full, regular payments or you could be found in contempt of court. You could even serve jail time. How are you supposed to make your payments and protect your own financial security?

Spousal support modifications when circumstances change

This is where spousal support modifications come in. According to Virginia law, the court may consider modifying spousal support if there has been a significant change in either of the involved parties' financial situations.

When spousal support was awarded, it was reasonable to assume that you would stay employed and continue making the same income. If that changes, it is worth petitioning the court to modify the spousal support award or working with your ex-spouse on a new agreement.

Additionally, if your ex-spouse's income increases, he or she may no longer require spousal support. You can also petition the court to relieve you of your burden if they are now making a comfortable living on their own.

Learning your options can help

If you face a financial situation in which you would benefit from a spousal support modification, a family law attorney can work with you to petition the court and illustrate why your circumstances require an adjustment.

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