Spousal Support Modification

When a Court deals with the issue of spousal support modification, the Court must first make the determination as to whether the spousal support obligation is “modifiable” or “non-modifiable”.  The issue between these two choices is extremely critical for both the person paying spousal support, as well as the person receiving spousal support.  For the person paying spousal support, a spousal support order that is “non-modifiable” means that under no circumstances what so ever can a Court change the amount or length or “term” of the original spousal support Order.  If the spousal support is “modifiable” then that means that the Court has the legal authority, discretion and ability to change or modify the previously Ordered spousal support as to the amount being paid, and or the term for which the spousal support  was originally Ordered to be paid.

Spousal Support Modification:  What do you need to prove

However, in situations where the Court has the legal authority, discretion and ability to change the previously Ordered spousal support amount and term, to actually modify or change a spousal support Order, the party requesting the change must first be able to satisfy several legal requirements.  The first requirement involves proving that the Court has “continuing jurisdiction” to modify the spousal support.  This requires that the Original Divorce Decree contain specific language wherein the Court states it shall retain continuing jurisdiction for a spousal support modification.  The second requirement requires that the party requesting the change must then prove with admissible evidence, at a formal hearing, that there has been a substantial change in circumstances which were not anticipated at the time of the Divorce.  The third requirement requires that the party requesting the change must then prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the existing spousal support Order is no longer appropriate and reasonable.  Decided November 4, 2010 in Burkart v. Burkart, 191 Ohio App.3d 169.  For the full case see, http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/1/2012/2012-ohio-1825.pdf.

Spousal Support Modification