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Why my ex is dragging me back to court for more alimony after getting a huge promotion?

This legal question related to Family law attorneys in California has been answered.

Location: California  |  Law type: Family law attorneys

Ain't alimony based on what we made when we split?

Okay, so me and my ex split up 3 years back, and the court did its thing where they decided I gotta pay her a chunk of my paycheck every month for alimony. I was making decent money, and she was too, but less than me. Now, I hear from a buddy that she’s climbed the corporate ladder and is making almost double what she used to. And outta nowhere, I get this legal notice that she’s takin’ me back to court to get more alimony from me! How's that fair when she's making bank now?

Can't I just tell the court she's loaded now?

I ain't exactly rolling in dough myself, and since the divorce, I’ve had to tighten the belt, y’know? I haven’t gotten any huge raises or nothing. I can’t afford a fancy lawyer to argue this for me. Is there a way to just show the court the numbers and say she don’t need my money anymore?

  • My original alimony payments were based on our salaries 3 years ago.
  • She's now making way more than me.
  • I'm still on the same salary as when we split.

Don't she gotta prove she needs more money from me?

I read somewhere that the person who wants more alimony has to show they need it. With the kinda promotion she's got, shouldn't she have to prove she can't make ends meet without my help? It's not like she's got any new expenses or anything, our kids are grown and outta the house.

What should I do now?

I'm in over my head with this legal stuff and I can’t cough up the cash for a lawyer. I’m stressed out thinking she might actually get more money outta me when she’s clearly doing fine.

  • Do I need a lawyer, or can I represent myself?
  • How do I prove to the court her financial situation has changed?
  • What kind of evidence do I need to bring to court?
  • Is there a way to stop this from even going to court?

Is there free legal advice for guys like me?

I’m from Buffalo, NY, and I’m pretty sure there’s gotta be some kinda legal aid or advice out there for someone in my shoes. Anyone know where I can get help without breaking the bank? I just need to figure out what my next move should be without getting into more debt.

Commonly posted questions...

A compassionate and professional family law attorney is having a consultation with a client about a divorce. The setting is a warmly lit, tastefully decorated office that feels welcoming and calm. The attorney, a middle-aged South Asian woman, sits across from her client, a distressed but hopeful Caucasian man in his late 30s. They are reviewing documents together, and there's a sense of understanding and empathy in the scene. The room has bookshelves filled with law books, a large window with a view of a s Divorce consultation
3 weeks 2 days ago, Family law attorneys, Rockmart
A close-up image of a professional and calm environment suitable for a family law consultation. The setting includes a well-organized and elegant office space, indicative of legal expertise in family law matters. The desk is adorned with tasteful, positive decorations, including a small potted plant, a family photo frame, and a stack of neatly arranged legal documents. The overall color scheme is warm and inviting, with natural light streaming in through a window, creating a reassuring atmosphere. The image Am I entitled to my money back?
3 weeks 4 days ago, Family law attorneys, Coral Gables

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to Family law attorneys in the jurisdiction of California. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Alimony Modification in New York

Alimony Laws and Resources

Under New York law, either party can seek to modify alimony if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. The fact that your ex-wife has received a significant promotion and is now earning more could be considered such a change. To explore the specific laws and statutes that apply to alimony and its modification in New York, you may visit the official website of the New York State Unified Court System, which provides resources and information on family law matters.

Possible Solutions to the Issue

To address this issue, you can file a petition in family court requesting a downward modification or termination of your alimony obligations based on the change in financial circumstances. It's imperative to gather financial documents that demonstrate your income, your ex-wife’s increased earnings, and any other relevant financial information. Documentation can include tax returns, pay stubs, employment contracts, and any evidence pertaining to your current financial obligations.

Since legal representation can be costly, you may consider seeking assistance from a legal aid organization in Buffalo, NY. Organizations such as the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo or the Volunteer Lawyers Project provide free or low-cost legal services to those who qualify. Furthermore, New York courts also offer a Self-Help section on their website where you can find forms and instructions for representing yourself in a family court matter.

Average Legal Costs and Variations

Legal Service Average Cost in Buffalo, NY Difference from National Average
Initial Consultation with a Lawyer $150 - $300 +10%
Filing a Petition for Alimony Modification $500 - $1,500 +5%
Full Legal Representation for the Case $3,000 - $10,000 +15%

Legal costs can vary significantly based on the complexity of the case and the rates of the specific attorney or firm. It is important to note that in Buffalo, NY, the market may sustain slightly higher rates due to the concentration of legal expertise in family law, leading to the differences from the national average.

The Complexity of Alimony Modification Cases

Alimony modification cases are complex due to the legal standards that must be met to prove a substantial change in circumstances. Here are three case studies and resolutions:

  1. Case of Decreased Earnings: A paying spouse loses their job and can no longer afford the original alimony amount. The resolution involves proving the loss of income and seeking a temporary or permanent reduction in payments.

  2. Case of Remarriage: The recipient spouse remarries, which typically ends alimony. The paying spouse must provide evidence of the marriage to request termination of alimony payments.

  3. Case of Increased Earnings by Recipient: Similar to your situation, where the recipient is now earning more. The resolution involves demonstrating the change in financial circumstances to the court to modify or terminate alimony.

These cases require thorough documentation and sometimes expert testimony regarding the parties' financial status. New York institutions such as family courts and the Office of Court Administration can provide guidance and procedural information.

Relevant Questions for the User

  • How much is your ex-wife currently earning compared to when the original alimony was set? This will help establish the substantial change in circumstances.
  • Have your financial circumstances changed significantly since the original decree? Your ability to pay may be a factor in the court’s decision.
  • Can you provide documentation for your current income and expenses? Accurate financial records are critical in alimony modification cases.

Common Questions and Answers

Q1: How can I modify my alimony payment in New York?

In New York, you must file a petition for modification of alimony in the family court that issued the original order. You must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances since the original order was made.

Q2: What qualifies as a 'substantial change in circumstances'?

A substantial change in circumstances can include a significant increase or decrease in either party's income, loss of employment, or the recipient’s cohabitation or remarriage.

Q3: Can I represent myself in family court for alimony modification?

Yes, you can represent yourself in family court. New York provides resources for self-represented litigants, but it is often advisable to seek legal advice when possible.

Q4: Where can I find free or low-cost legal help in Buffalo, NY?

Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo and Volunteer Lawyers Project are two resources where you might find free or low-cost legal assistance. You can also [ask a free legal question] to get preliminary advice.

Q5: What evidence do I need to bring to court to prove a change in circumstances?

You need to bring all relevant financial documents, including recent tax returns, pay stubs, employment contracts for both parties, and any evidence of your ex-wife's increase in earnings.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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A Family attorney in the United States is a lawyer who assists clients with civil legal matters, such as "child custody", "alimony", "domestic violence" or "divorce" cases. The "family law" candidate should have at least 2 years of family law experience. These experiences may include divorce proceedings as well as child custody and counseling. Browse our database of family lawyers and get a free family law consultation.

  • Marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships (domestic violence)
  • Adoption and surrogacy
  • Child abuse and child abduction (child custody, child care)
  • The termination of relationships and ancillary matters, including divorce, annulment, property settlements, alimony, child custody and visitation, child support and alimony awards
  • Juvenile adjudication
  • paternity testing and paternity fraud
  • more about family law at wikipedia
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An image of two adjacent suburban houses in Phoenix, Arizona, with a new wooden fence dividing the properties. The fence is noticeably closer to one house, suggesting a property line dispute. The fence is built of fresh pine wood and stands about 6 feet tall. The scene is set during the day under clear skies, with the sun casting shadows that visually emphasize the encroachment of the fence on one property. The surrounding is a typical suburban neighborhood with manicured lawns, a few trees, and the backdro...

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