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When can I lower my alimony obligations?

Paying alimony, otherwise known as spousal support, can feel like a huge burden. It is likely that you are paying alimony in addition to child support, and you may also have suffered financially during the divorce settlement in Saint Paul. This is why many divorcees want to look into the possibility of lowering or putting a stop to spousal support.

It is possible to modify the spousal support agreement informally if you and your ex mutually decide to do so. However, making such agreements without the assistance of the courts can become risky, because the agreement may not be able to be enforced if one spouse violates it. If you decide to try and modify the alimony order with the assistance of Minnesota courts, the following are some common situations in which you will be able to file for a modification.

A financial emergency

Spousal support orders are based on the premise that the spouse who earns more has the ability and the duty to help their ex-spouse financially. Therefore, if their financial situation changes significantly and they are no longer able to support their ex-spouse, they will be able to successfully file for a modification. Financial emergencies could be related to a loss of a job, a sudden illness and consequential medical bills or a temporary shortage of funds.


If your former spouse moves into a home with another romantic partner, this is likely to mean that their cost of living will go down and that they are gaining financial support from someone else. This will mean that you will have the right to request that alimony be suspended.

Increase in the cost of living

You may be earning the same amount or even more than when you originally started paying spousal support, but if your cost of living has increased at a higher rate, you may be struggling financially. If you can show that you are suffering financially due to an increase in the cost of living, you may be able to benefit from a reduction in alimony obligations.

It is important that you are proactive in taking responsibility for the way that your alimony obligations are calculated. Any change in your financial situation could be grounds for a modification.

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