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When can a spousal support order be modified in Indiana?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2022 | Child Support

Indiana residents who have gotten a divorce and settled all areas of dispute such as child custody, child support, property division and spousal support might breathe a sigh of relief that the case is over. However, simply because the initial action has been completed does not mean the decisions are set in stone.

Modifications can be made if the situation calls for it. One area where there can be a modification is with spousal support. It is imperative to know the law for a support modification when considering requesting one.

What does the law say about support modifications?

A support order is based on various factors including the income that both parties earn; their education level; if there are children that need to be cared for; their ability to pay and more. Some or all can change after the order is put in effect. That is known as a change in circumstances.

When there is a change in circumstances, the order can be assessed and a decision made as to potentially modifying it to better suit the new situation. For example, if the paying party loses their job or has a sudden reduction in income, that could warrant a change to the amount. The receiving party might have sudden medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. This too could mean the order will be modified. At least 12 months must have elapsed from when the order was issued and the request for modification is made.

For the modification to be made, there must be a showing of changed circumstances that is substantial enough that the current order is unreasonable. Another way the order can be changed is if the person has been ordered to pay child support and there is a disparity of at least 20% from what the child support guidelines say the order should be.

When seeking a support modification, it is important to have advice

Whether it is from the perspective of the person who is ordered to pay support or the person receiving it, it is important to know when a modification can be made and what steps need to be taken. Consulting with experienced professionals who understand complex cases and care about what they do is a vital first step. Since all areas of family law can be difficult, it is wise to have advice immediately, especially when trying to modify a spousal support order.