After your divorce in Massachusetts courts, you may be awarded an initial alimony payment from your ex-spouse to account for the financial needs of both you and your children. That alimony payment may be under temporary or conditional terms, or may be long-term – but what happens when the alimony payment is not enough? If you are struggling to support yourself and your family on the current alimony payment, or if your financial situation otherwise changes due to some hardship, can you request a larger alimony payment?

You may. You may not necessarily be granted that payment, but you have a right to petition for a higher payment and be heard. Ideally, if you feel you need more alimony, you and your spouse would agree and file jointly for an uncontested modification. If you have to pursue a decision from the courts to adjust the award, however, states that your case may be considered in the light of changes to your financial situation. This is called a material change.

Circumstances that might count as a material change could involve your landlord raising your rent with no options to find more affordable housing, or yourself or one of your children growing ill in a way that either creates financial hardship or impacts your ability to learn. If you lose your job or hours at work, that can also constitute a substantive material change that warrants petitioning for more alimony.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not stand as a substitute for qualified legal counsel.