In these tough economic time, it is critical to remember that if you have a judgment with non-modifiable spousal support, it means what it says. If you are in the midst of a divorce, and you have any type of job situation where there is a possibility of a reduction in pay or a loss of a job, do not agree to non-modifiable spousal support. By law, non-modifiable means non-modifiable. What can you do if you have entered into a judgment of divorce or settlement agreement where there is non-modifiable spousal support, and there has been a job loss, and you no longer have the ability to pay?
At a recent seminar, I discussed some of these issues and here are some recommendations. You can try to renegotiate with your former spouse. If there are other assets, you may be able to trade off some other property that you have received in return for buying out the spousal support or changing the amount of the spousal support. Another suggestoin is to lower and extend the payments. It might be possible to have a moratorium for awhile, as long as the payments are made at the end. If all else fails, and your former spouse takes you to court, you may have to throw yourself at the mercy of the judge, who may decide not to enforce it because of the impossibility of the situation. Judges are very aware of these tough economic times, and are looking at these issues very differently than they would have two or three years ago. Bear in mind that every situation is different, and it is imperative that you talk to an attorney specializing in family law.