My income has been drastically reduced which means I can no longer pay alimony at the level agreed. What are my options – this is in NC

Changes in income have made it difficult for me to continue paying the agreed upon alimony. My income has been drastically reduced. What are my options in NC. Thanks

Asked on September 13, 2017 under Family Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can bring a legal action in family court to have your alimony reduced due to the change in the circumstances. First, be aware that only if the reduction is due to factors beyond your control (e.g. it's not because you decided to reduce hours or change careers) might you get the reduction. Second, the reduction must appear to be long-term, if not permanent: a temporary dip in income is something you would be expected to deal with. Third, you must be able to show that you cannot pay the agreed-upon alimony while also supporting yourself in a modest, but reasonable, way. (The fact that you cannot afford luxuries or vacations anymore will not by itself be enough.) The court has the power to adjust alimony if it is convinced that a reduction is necessary. You could bring this action yourself, but are strongly advised to retain a family law attorney to help you, which will increase you odds of a favorable outcome.

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