If you lose your job, you may be worried about how you will afford to buy groceries, pay rent, and take care of other necessary expenses. However, if you have alimony payments to make, you may panic about being held in contempt of court if you cannot afford to make them. If this reflects your circumstances, it’s imperative to understand how to protect yourself and your finances. Luckily, the following blog explores how a Monroe, Louisiana alimony lawyer can help you through these challenging and complex times.
If I Lose My Job, Do I Still Need to Make Payments?
When you lose your job and are the paying spouse, it can be an incredibly challenging and confusing time. Generally, those let go from their job will not have to pay spousal support, but many factors are taken into consideration before the courts will change an alimony order. Generally, the courts only grant the termination of alimony in instances where there is a significant change in circumstances, like losing a job or suffering extensive health issues.
If you lose your job, your alimony payments will not automatically stop. However, you can petition the courts to reduce or terminate your spousal support obligations. It’s important that you do not stop paying until the order is terminated, as you could be found in contempt of court. The courts will consider the following circumstances when deciding if alimony should continue if a spouse loses their job:
- Why the person was laid off or fired
- If they have made efforts to find new employment
- If the recipient spouse’s financial circumstances have changed since alimony was initially ordered
- How long it would take the spouse to become financially independent
- The age and health of each spouse
- Any additional factors the court deems relevant
What Should I Do if I Need to Stop Paying?
If you lose your job and are worried about paying bills and affording groceries, it can seem simple for alimony payments to fall to the bottom of your priority list. However, it’s essential to understand that until an order is granted terminating or modifying the alimony payments, you must continue making them.
In the meantime, it’s imperative to consult an attorney to discuss your options. Unfortunately, petitioning the court and proving you can no longer afford payments can be incredibly complex. As such, you may make an error or miss a deadline that invalidates your claim.
When you need help, Breithaupt, DuBos, & Wolleson, LLC, is ready to help. Our firm is committed to helping you through these challenging times to achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. We understand how frustrating it can be to lose your job while worrying about alimony payments. That’s why we’ll do everything in our power to help you achieve relief. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.