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Am I paying too much in spousal support?

Perhaps a judge ordered you to pay an amount of spousal support that you thought was excessive from the start, or your circumstances have changed enough that the amount of spousal support you agreed to pay seems excessive now. It could also be that something has changed on your ex's side.

Whatever the case is, what are your options if you believe you pay too much spousal support?

Get a lawyer's opinion

A lawyer should be able to clarify in your specific situation whether you might be paying too much and if going to court for a modification could prove worthwhile. That said, the best time to get an amount you deem acceptable is usually during divorce negotiations. If your divorce is not yet finalized and you are unhappy with what your spouse is asking you to pay, consult a lawyer if you have not done so already. A vocational expert is someone a lawyer can bring in to assess your spouse's potential earning capacity.

Explain any change in circumstances

Situations such as a job loss, pay cut or disability on your part could potentially lead to a reduction in the amount of spousal support you have to pay. However, it is not always easy to show certain things. For example, if you decided to retire early and consequently have less income coming in monthly, a judge might not see that as a reason to reduce support. The same principle may apply if you left a higher-paying job for a lower-paying one or if your employer laid you off but you cannot prove that you have been diligently applying for new jobs.

There can be a change in circumstances on your ex's side as well. Perhaps he or she came into an inheritance that means you should be able to pay less or nothing at all, or you have found out that your ex's parents are paying most or all of his or her expenses. The bottom line is to discuss your options with a lawyer if you believe you pay an excessive amount.

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