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If you pay or receive spousal support, you should know that it is possible to modify these orders as time goes by. After all, people can change, as can their needs and means. When a significant change occurs, it could warrant re-examination of support orders and possible modification.

That said, even after a significant life change, the road to support modification may not be smooth. Parties can disagree on whether a change is warranted as well as what a reasonable amount of support is. 

Negotiating changes

One circumstance that can complicate spousal support is retirement.  When a previously employed spouse retires and wants their support obligation reduced, their estranged spouse may argue that they should not have retired and should be expected to pay the same level of support.  In other cases, a health issue or lost job may give rise to a need to modify spousal support.

In all of the above circumstances, the specific facts of each individual case become important.  Was the spouse fired or was their position eliminated?  If there is a health issue, is it one that prevents the spouse from working?  If they retired, are they normal retirement age for their field?

When disputes arise in your case

Any family legal matter involving financial obligations has the potential to be emotional and contentious. As such, it is important to have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Pennsylvanians dealing with issues relating to paying or receiving spousal support should contact a family law attorney to discuss the facts of their case. The specific facts of your case and the relevant law will enable them to advise you about what is reasonable to propose to your spouse and what the court might expect of you.