Can I return to court and ask for an amendment to my divorce due to sickness?

Aug 8, 2012 by

Question: 

Can I return to court and ask for an amendment to my divorce due to sickness and be able to ask for retirement money from my husband since i did not know I could do that at the time of divorce – we were married for 12 years.

State: 
South Carolina

Answer: 

Sorry to hear about your illness, and wish you a speedy recovery.  To answer your question, listed below is South Carolina Code, Title 20, Chapter 3, Article 1, #170 which deals with modifications to alimony.

“Whenever any husband or wife, pursuant to a judgment of divorce from the bonds of matrimony, has been required to make his or her spouse any periodic payments of alimony and the circumstances of the parties or the financial ability of the spouse making the periodic payments shall have changed since the rendition of such judgment, either party may apply to the court which rendered the judgment for an order and judgment decreasing or increasing the amount of such alimony payments or terminating such payments and the court, after giving both parties an opportunity to be heard and to introduce evidence relevant to the issue, shall make such order and judgment as justice and equity shall require, with due regard to the changed circumstances and the financial ability of the supporting spouse, decreasing or increasing or confirming the amount of alimony provided for in such original judgment or terminating such payments.”

As you can see, your illness would be a factor for the court to consider since it has changed your circumstances, but the judge would also take into account your ex-husband’s financial situation before making any amendment to the alimony.

Also, retirement funds that were earned while you were married are generally considered marital property, and thus a factor for the court to consider when calculating the proper amount of alimony.  If he is already receiving retirement income, then obviously that would be a factor when assessing your ex-husband’s current financial ability.

Wendy Jaffe and Divorce.com can only provide general information about divorce. DO NOT RELY ON MS. JAFFE’S ADVICE ALONE. Before acting on information provided by Ms. Jaffe or by Divorce.com, talk to an attorney first about your particular facts and the law of your state. By submitting your question to Divorce.com, you are not creating an attorney/client relationship with Ms. Jaffe or with any of the other attorneys listed on this site.

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