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Divorce can serve as a much-needed break from a toxic relationship. Many people report being much happier after separating from their spouses, yet certain things still prove unpleasant even after divorce finalization, such as alimony.

Alimony can be a huge financial burden. Divorce usually means that each person has more disposable income, because both parties are no longer spending money on each other. Alimony changes that, as now one party must regularly send funds to the other. Here are a few ways to alter your alimony payments.

Financial circumstances of the payer

Both parties’ financial status form the foundation for calculating alimony payments. As such, ex-spouses can alter alimony specifications when one or both parties’ financial and/or life circumstances change drastically. For example, if you lose your job or are suddenly making less money for some reason, you may adjust how much you owe your ex-spouse in recurring alimony payments.

Financial circumstances of the receiver

The same concept applied to the one paying alimony can apply to the recipient. Overall need determines payments, meaning that they are normally not meant to be frivolous. A judge may adjust or eliminate the mandated provisions altogether if the person paying alimony feels that his or her ex-spouse no longer requires regular payments, as there is no real need for them anymore. The court may also determine that the party receiving provisions has not made a significant effort to become self-supporting, which can also cause an adjustment.

In both examples above, the court must make its ruling based on the most present life and financial situation for both ex-spouses. The key question that the judge must answer is, “would the specifics of the alimony deal be the same if the divorce were to occur today?” You have a strong case if you and your legal team can prove that the answer is no.