We really need more information from you. It would seem that you have a legitimate basis for modification of your alimony obligation but we really need to see what the Final Judgment states regarding modification, etc. before we can help you further. Of course, you can always call an AVVO attorney who offers free consultations by telephone, etc.
Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.
If you have a court ordered obligation, your ex has the right to file a motion for contempt. Your Former Wife has the initial burden to show payment has not been made (this is usually not in dispute). Then burden shifts to you to prove you lack ability. If Court finds you have ability, he can require you to "purge' yourself by paying whatever he finds is the ability.
The financial obligation will not go away unless you file a petition for modification show a substantial, permanent, involuntary change in circumstances since last order of support.
If you are not found in contempt because you lack the ability, the amount still vests (which means she can collect later) unless you file for a modification.
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Your best option is to file a motion for modification based on your change in circumstance. You need to talk to an attorney about the contempt and a modification.
Most alimony awards are modifiable based on a change in circumstances such as a permanent loss of income, but you can't sit around and hope for the best, you've got to go to court to get the alimony amount modified. Trouble here is retroactivity. The alimony amount can only be modified retroactive to the date you filed your petition to modify, so you've already lost the benefit you would have gotten from an earlier filing. See your family law attorney right away so he/she can get started on your case.
I need more information from you to determine whether it would be a good idea to modify your alimony, but on first impression it would seem to me that you have a case to lower or terminate your alimony.
I offer a free consultation and would be happy to discuss this matter with you.
This is not intended to be used as a legal advice.
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