Separation and Divorce

Changing or Cancelling Spousal Support


Support payments a spouse makes to an ex-spouse can be increased, decreased or cancelled if there is a major change in their life situations.

Major Change in a Spouse’s Situation

To ask for spousal support to be changed or cancelled, there must be a change in the situation of one of the former spouses. The change must be major and not predictable when the court decision on support was made or an agreement about support was signed.

Also, the change in the former spouse’s situation must justify the change or cancellation of the support payments and make it necessary.

What is a major change?

Here are a few examples:

The former spouse making support payments

  • loses her job,
  • gets a raise at work,
  • retires, or
  • gets sick and can’t even pay for her own needs.

The former spouse getting support payments

  • gets a job,
  • makes no effort to become more independent, or
  • remarries.

If one of these things happens, the change or cancellation of the support payments is not automatic. In other words, a judge can refuse to change or cancel them. Each case is unique. A lawyer or other legal professional can help you.