How do I change awarded alimony based on actual income vs. potential income?

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How do I change awarded alimony based on actual income vs. potential income?

Judge awarded my ex-wife alimony in the amount of $350 per week based on my previous income of about $120K per year. I was actually unemployed at the time of the award and the judge made his ruling stating that I was “voluntarily under-employed” and that I should be making $120K per year as in the past. In reality I was unable to obtain a position which provided that level of income and my actual tax statements for the past 3 years show that I have averaged about $30K per year. In this economic climate how can anyone make an award based on potential income as apposed to actual income? Divorce was in NJ; I now live in TX; ex-wife lives in KS.

Asked on October 16, 2010 under Family Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am unsure as to what stage of the litigation you are.  If the award was just given it may be possible for you to appeal the award of alimony.  There are time constraints to adhere to here and you need to have grounds for appeal, such as an improper assumption that you are "voluntarily unemployed."  But it sounds as if the award is older so you may want to apply for a modification of the award based upon your tax returns. You will need legal help with all of this no matter which way you go.  Gather all the documentation and go and see an attorney in your area for consultation.  Good luck.   


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