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Amicable divorces, though they do exist, may be the exception rather than the rule, especially when issues like alimony and spousal support are in play. Separating couples rarely agree on the amount one spouse owes another, and where there are disputes regarding responsibilities, disputes regarding payment soon follow.
Whether you're trying to collect from your ex or trying to adjust the amount you owe, you could go back to the court that issued the spousal support order in the first place. Or, if you've moved, you can go a court where you now live. But if you don't want to go back to court, do you have other options?
Not every divorce goes to court in the first place. In some situations, separating spouses can manage to negotiate the terms of the divorce on their own, or with the help of their attorneys. If you and your ex came to such an agreement, you can go back to the negotiating table to re-work the details, perhaps suspending or reducing the support payment amount or adjusting the frequency of payments.
Even if spousal support was established by a court order, a private agreement resolving payment issues can leave both parties satisfied and may be a better resolution than a confrontational court appearance. And you can always remind your ex that you can still go to court later if he or she does not abide by the private agreement.
There is one step between a private agreement and court intervention. Arbitration or mediation can offer the best of both worlds: a less contentious venue than an adversary court session, but with the formality of a judicial order. Mediation can often be more flexible and more affordable than extended court proceedings as well.
Whether you're trying to (re)negotiate a private spousal support agreement or are meeting your ex in mediation, you need the help of an experienced family law attorney to make sure all of your rights are recognized and your legal bases are covered. Contact one near your today.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.