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My ex is making a lot more money, can I get my child support or alimony raised?

child support

My ex is making a lot more money, can I get my child support or alimony raised?

Navigating the complexities of child support and alimony can be challenging, especially when significant changes in financial circumstances occur. If your ex-spouse’s income has increased substantially, you may be wondering if this change warrants a modification of your child support or alimony arrangements. Under New Hampshire law, such changes can indeed justify a review and possible adjustment of these payments.

Understanding Child Support Modifications in New Hampshire

Child support in New Hampshire is determined based on the income of both parents and the needs of the child. When significant changes in circumstances occur, such as a considerable increase in your ex-spouse’s income (or income of the other parent if never married), you can request a modification of the existing child support order.

Criteria for Child Support Modification

  1. Substantial Change in Circumstances: The primary basis for modifying child support is demonstrating a substantial change in circumstances. An increase in your ex-spouse’s income may qualify as such a change.
  2. Best Interests of the Child: The court will always consider the best interests of the child when reviewing a modification request. If increased income allows for better support of the child’s needs, this will be taken into account.
  3. Material Change Threshold: New Hampshire law stipulates that if the change in income results in a 20% or more difference in the support amount, this is typically considered substantial.

Steps to Request a Child Support Modification

  1. File a Petition: Begin by filing a petition with the family court that issued the original support order. This petition should detail the changes in circumstances and why you believe a modification is necessary.
  2. Provide Evidence: You must provide evidence of your ex-spouse’s increased income. This can include pay stubs, tax returns, or other financial documents.
  3. Attend a Hearing: The court will schedule a hearing where both parties can present their cases. Be prepared to demonstrate how the increased income significantly alters the financial landscape and justifies higher child support payments.

Understanding Alimony Modifications in New Hampshire

Alimony, or spousal support, can also be modified under New Hampshire law if there is a substantial change in circumstances. Unlike child support, alimony modifications are less formulaic and more discretionary, focusing on the recipient’s needs and the payer’s ability to pay.

Criteria for Alimony Modification

  1. Significant Change in Income: Similar to child support, a significant increase in your ex-spouse’s income can justify a request for increased alimony.
  2. Duration of Alimony: The length of time you have been receiving alimony and the terms of the original agreement may influence the court’s decision.
  3. Financial Need and Ability to Pay: The court will consider your financial need and your ex-spouse’s ability to pay the increased amount.

Steps to Request an Alimony Modification

  1. File a Petition: Submit a petition for modification to the family court. Clearly state the reasons for the requested change and provide evidence of your ex-spouse’s increased income.
  2. Provide Documentation: As with child support modifications, you will need to provide documentation of the financial change. This may include income statements and any other relevant financial records.
  3. Court Hearing: Attend the court hearing to present your case. Be prepared to show how the increased income changes the financial dynamic and warrants a higher alimony payment.

It Goes Both Ways

Keep in mind that if your ex-spouse’s income significantly decreases, or your income significantly increases, then your ex-spouse could also try to lower their payment. Generally, as long as their are ongoing financial obligations ordered, both parties have a duty to notify the other of a “material” change in income.

Preparing for the Process

Before filing a petition, it’s crucial to gather all necessary documentation and evidence. This preparation will strengthen your case and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney can provide invaluable guidance and ensure that all procedural requirements are met.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Navigating the modification process can be complex and emotionally taxing. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand your rights, gather the necessary evidence, and present a compelling case to the court.

Our team is dedicated to helping you secure the support you and your children deserve. If your ex-spouse’s income has significantly increased, it may be time to revisit your child support or alimony arrangements.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your options. Let us help you ensure that your financial arrangements reflect your current circumstances and adequately support your family’s needs.

My ex is making a lot more money, can I get my child support or alimony raised?

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