In some circumstances, the parties to a divorce can seek a modification of spousal maintenance following entry of the divorce decree. I say sometimes because there are situations where the court has been divested of jurisdiction to reassess the issue of spousal maintenance.

For example, if there’s been a lump sum property buyout in lieu of alimony or if the parties have agreed to a Karon waiver, both of those concepts are addressed in a different video segment. But if you’re not a party to a judgment and decree that involves a Karon waiver or a lump sum property buyout, you certainly are able to ask the court to modify spousal maintenance.

The underlying question for the court will be whether there’s been a substantial change in circumstance. The court will basically reassess the very same issues that it assessed the first time around in terms of the ongoing monthly expenses of each party, the income of each party, and figure out if it’s actually appropriate given an increase or decrease in earnings or expenses to modify the spousal maintenance award.