Modification of Child Support and Alimony – Trends
A recent study shows that divorce attorneys are currently experiencing an increase in the number of divorced clients seeking changes to their existing child support and alimony payments. A survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) indicates that as the economy continues to spiral downward and unemployment claims rise, many divorced spouses are seeking to get more cash from, or reduce payment amounts to, their ex-partners in order to maintain their current households or lifestyles.
The rise in the number of requests to increase alimony and child support payment amounts have coincided directly with the worsening financial conditions around the nation. At the same time, the number of clients requesting reduced child support and alimony payments also rose. As job losses and pay cuts have increased, so have the requests for modified payment orders.
The AAML figures show that 39% of divorce attorneys acknowledged seeing a marked increase in recent child support modification orders and 42% saw a rise in the number of request to modify alimony payments too. The figures differ greatly from the number of divorce attorneys who reported a decrease in the number of modification orders, with just 5% of AAML attorneys seeing a decrease in child support modifications and 6% seeing a decrease in alimony modifications.
If and when AAML members begin to notice trends starting to go in the opposite direction and the numbers of modification requests begin to subside, it will probably be safe to assume the economy has begun to recover. Of course, the divorce lawyers will still have plenty of work to do regardless of the direction the economy is going because couples who postpone divorce during tough economic times usually begin filing again as soon as the economic climate improves.