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When you were married, you and your spouse vowed to care for each other until death. Unfortunately, you have reached a point in your marriage where you can no longer keep that promise on an emotional level, but you might have a duty to keep that promise financially. In some divorce cases, one spouse will be ordered to pay alimony or child support payments.

What Is Alimony and Child Support?

Alimony is basically spousal support. In some marriages, one spouse brings home the entire income, while the other spouse is either a stay-at-home parent, or disabled in such a way that he or she can’t work. If the couple gets divorced, the working spouse may be ordered to financially support the other spouse for a duration of time. Sometimes these orders are temporary, and other times they are permanent. Alimony support is uniquely based on each specific situation and what each spouse’s financial needs are.

Child support is just as it sounds — financial support of a child. The custodial parent will naturally have higher expenses because the children will spend more time with him or her. The food bills will be higher, the rent or mortgage could be higher due to more space needed, the utilities will be higher, and a range of other expenses will also begin to add up. Child support comes as a way to help compensate for all of the expenses that are associated with raising a child.

Can Support Be Modified?

It’s difficult to modify alimony or child support because they are high-priority in the eyes of the law. Family responsibilities are important, and unless there is a phenomenal reason to modify the support payments, it’s possible someone would try and fail to make the modification. Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. If you have lost your job, or if your children have come to live with you full time, you can petition the court to modify alimony and child support. There are other reasons you may choose to do this as well, such as health issues, the other spouse getting a job and making more money, increased childcare costs, and other similar factors.

What Should I Do Next?

If you’re hoping to modify alimony or child support payments, the first thing you should do is speak with a divorce lawyer. Your lawyer can walk you through all the things you’ll need to know to ensure everything is fair. If your spouse is trying to modify the agreement and you feel it’s not right, your lawyer can assist you on that side of it as well. Contact a divorce lawyer, like a divorce lawyer in Rockville, MD, to get started today.

Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into modifying child support payments and alimony.