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1 files request for modification of divorce agreement

When a marriage ends, sometimes a higher-earning spouse may be ordered to make support payments to his or her former spouse for a specific time frame. These agreements are dependent on the unique circumstances that exist in a divorce settlement. If a Colorado resident believes that an agreement no longer meets the stipulated terms, he or she may have grounds to seek a modification.

One woman recently petitioned for a modification after realizing that her ex-husband would be receiving an amount that exceeds their former standard of living. According to the terms, the wife agreed to pay him $850 a month, along with approximately 10 percent of any amounts that exceeded her base salary at the time of their divorce. Over the next few years, her salary increased significantly, thereby requiring her to share 10 percent of the new amount, along with the same portion of any bonuses.

An appeals court ruled that the wife's petition was justified, but also found that a lower court failed to take salary increases into consideration when the alimony agreement was approved. The lower court approved the wife's request, which had been set to reduce the monthly amounts over time until stopping altogether in 2020. However, her former spouse was allowed to keep the base payments and 10 percent of any additional pay, while a cap was set for an amount of $990 in extra support. The appeals court overturned the previous ruling and sent the matter back for reconsideration.

The husband objected to a reduced pay schedule as he asserts that the increase in salary was anticipated. However, the appeals court ruled that such a substantial increase in income did constitute a change in circumstance. Though this situation is unique to this particular divorce agreement, Colorado residents who believe that a change in their own circumstances prompts a need for modifications to the original alimony agreement may benefit from consulting with an attorney.

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