If you are divorced and receive or pay maintenance, you should know that maintenance readjustment is possible. Maintenance readjustment is done by a court’s decision and can lead to receipt either less or more money by you– depending on the outcome of the lawsuit If you think you are eligible for a maintenance readjustment, you should first speak with your attorney. He will then check your country’s divorce laws and confirm if you are indeed eligible for a readjustment. The next step may be going to court or using the services of a private investigation agency to gather the proof needed for a maintenance readjustment. A maintenance readjustment might then allow you to increase or decrease the payments or even terminate the maintenance completely.
Here are some reasons that may help you get a maintenance readjustment:
Mutual agreement of maintenance readjustment:
Divorced partners can come to an agreement of maintenance readjustment without going to court. However, such an agreement has much less legal power than a maintenance agreement approved by a court, or a won maintenance claim. In most cases, you will not be able to use the legal system to enforce an agreement after a maintenance readjustment done without the court’s approval. So unless you are absolutely sure your former spouse still has your best interests at heart, you are better off taking a maintenance readjustment to the court.
Maintenance fees may be decreased or altogether terminated if the receiving ex-spouse lives intimately together with another person – cohabitates. A maintenance readjustment may happen once the court is presented with enough proof of these two persons cohabitating. For complete maintenance terminations several factors are needed. For instance, if an ex-spouse has a child, the court must be convinced that the child is cared for both by an ex-spouse and his/her new partner.
New Support Obligation:
In case an ex-spouse paying maintenance marries again and has a child, he or she is eligible for a maintenance readjustment. Paying both maintenance and providing for a child can constitute a hardship in the eyes of court. However, if an ex-spouse marries a person who had children prior to this marriage, a maintenance readjustment won’t apply.
Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) Clause:
In some cases, a Cost of Living Adjustment can be included in an original divorce decree. What this means is, when the annual cost of living changes, a maintenance readjustment happens automatically. However, if your divorce decree does not include a COLA clause you still may ask a court for a maintenance readjustment once the annual cost of living changes: if it goes up, so does the maintenance pay.
Temporary Maintenance Readjustment:
We all are liable to illness and other unfortunate events. Some of them mean that we need more money, or that we are temporarily unable to work, which means a decrease in income. In this case, the ex-spouse making payments may ask the court to lower the maintenance fee. In case the receiving ex-spouse loses his or her job, falls ill or is subjected to another hardship, he or she may ask the court for a maintenance readjustment as well. After a predetermined period of time the maintenance fee will return to it’s original value.
An escalator clause means that once the maintenance payer’s income increases, maintenance payments increase with it. If your ex-spouse gets promoted, and his or her salary increases, you might be eligible for increased maintenance payments. On the other hand, if you are the payer, and your salary decreases, you may ask a court for a maintenance readjustment to lower the payments. In some cases it might be necessary to hire a private investigator to get the proof of the increased income and win the maintenance readjustment case.
Generally, maintenance readjustment isn’t very hard to receive provided you have an adequate legal cause for it. However, in many cases you may need to get well-document evidence to present to the court – for instance, when you want to prove cohabitation or increased income. In these cases, you should seek help from a private investigation agency if you want the maintenance readjustment process to be settled in your favor.