Modification of Alimony Attorneys, With Years of Experience
Serving Clark County and the areas of Las Vegas, Laughlin, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Overton, Moapa Valley, and Mesquite
One of the most contested issues in any divorce case is alimony or spousal support. Many people do not realize that even after the divorce is granted and the order is signed, one party can go back to request that the court modifies an order of alimony. The court will not consider the request, however, without a showing that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred.
If you need to file for a modification of alimony or defend against such an action, then contact the experienced family law attorneys at Mills & Anderson. We represent clients on alimony modification actions throughout Clark County, including Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas, Nevada.
Factors for Alimony Modifications in Nevada
For specified periodic payment of alimony set out in a decree of divorce or an agreement between the parties which was ratified, adopted or approved in a decree of divorce, the decree or agreement is not generally subject to modification by the court as to accrued payments. If the alimony payments have not accrued at the time a motion for modification is filed, however, then the Court could modify those alimony payments upon a showing of changed circumstances.
The modification of unaccrued alimony payments is possible, regardless of whether the Court has expressly retained jurisdiction for the modification. A request to have an alimony or spousal support payments modified based on changed circumstances is brought under NRS 125.150(7).
The court will consider a host of different factors when considering whether to modify an award of alimony previously ordered. The Court must consider “whether the income of the spouse who is ordered to pay alimony, as indicated on the spouse’s federal income tax return for the preceding calendar year, has been reduced to such a level that the spouse is financially unable to pay the amount of alimony the spouse has been ordered to pay.” NRS 125.150(7).
In a modification of alimony action, the Court can reconsider those issues originally decided under NRS 125.150(8) including:
- The financial condition of each spouse;
- The nature and value of the respective property of each spouse;
- The contribution of each spouse to any property held by the spouses pursuant to NRS 123.030;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The income, earning capacity, age and health of each spouse;
- The standard of living during the marriage;
- The career before the marriage of the spouse who would receive the alimony;
- The existence of specialized education or training or the level of marketable skills attained by each spouse during the marriage;
- The contribution of either spouse as homemaker;
- The award of property granted by the court in the divorce, other than child support and alimony, to the spouse who would receive the alimony; and
- The physical and mental condition of each party as it relates to the financial condition, health, and ability to work of that spouse.
Substantial Changes of Circumstances for Alimony Modifications
Filing for a reduction of downward modification of alimony requires a showing that a substantial change of circumstances has occurred. NRS 125.210(10) provides that a “change of 20 percent or more in the gross monthly income of a spouse who is ordered to pay alimony shall be deemed to constitute changed circumstances requiring a review for modification of the payments of alimony.”
The term “gross monthly income” is defined in NRS 125B.070. Under NRS 125B.070, the term “gross monthly income” means the total amount of income received each month from any source of a person who is not self-employed or the gross income from any source of a self-employed person, after deduction of all legitimate business expenses, but without deduction for personal income taxes, contributions for retirement benefits, contributions to a pension or for any other personal expenses.
Limitations on Alimony Modifications
The request to modify the alimony amount must be based upon a substantial change in circumstances of one or both of the parties. Even with such a showing, the court in Las Vegas, Nevada, may find that this remedy is not available if the divorce decree specifically states that the alimony payments could not be modified under any circumstances. See Gilman v. Gilman, 114 Nev. 416, 426, 956 P.2d 761, 767 (1998) (holding that because the parties’ divorce decree included a specific provision regarding modification, the court would presume that they intended that provision, rather than the general changed circumstances doctrine, to apply).