Seeking Nevada Alimony Modification?
Even after your divorce is final, it is important to keep in mind that in certain circumstances, a divorce decree may not be set in stone – life changes, and issues that have been previously settled may require revisiting further down the road. The questions that most often arise after the decree is entered are those of modification of child custody and alimony. In Nevada, alimony in particular can be difficult to modify. Having an experienced attorney to help you in the process is crucial.
The Court’s Discretion Carries
Unlike in many other states, Nevada has very little specific law regarding the granting of alimony. It can be awarded either in a lump sum, or in periodic payments, that last until the receiver remarries or one spouse passes away. Sometimes short-term alimony is granted if one spouse needs time to transition back into the workforce or to acquire credentials (for example, going back to school to finish their college degree).
The only mention of alimony in Nevada statutes is to state that a court “may” award alimony to one spouse “as appears just and equitable” – which, as one might imagine, is open to interpretation. In order to determine whether an alimony award is appropriate, there are a host of different factors that a court will examine, such as the duration of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, and the current and future earning potential of each spouse.
An alimony settlement that was acceptable at the time of your divorce may become intolerable or unmanageable over time. If you have experienced “changed circumstances” – a 20 percent change in income being one of the more common instances – you may have the right to file for a modification of your alimony payment. This does not necessarily mean that the modification will be granted; it merely gives you the right to file. A court may very well decide that both spouses must simply adjust their lifestyle to ensure alimony continues to be paid.
That said, if you are looking for a reduction in your alimony payment, it is important to be able to back up your change in circumstances. Courts will not tolerate anyone who willfully misrepresents their employment picture for the purpose of avoiding child support or alimony payments, and if the court suspects you are willfully choosing to be underemployed, it will generally hold that you must pay alimony based on your true earning capacity rather than your current salary. The only real way to modify alimony is by showing changed circumstances.
Contact A Las Vegas Family Lawyer
If alimony has been awarded in your divorce, you must pay it unless your circumstances change and the Court modifies that obligation. If you have a legitimate reason for seeking a modification, having an experienced Las Vegas family attorney from the Kainen Law Group to guide you through the process can make all the difference. Contact our offices today to schedule a consultation.