I divorced in 2011 in Ohio. My former spouse was awarded alimony based on my earning potentional. We had no young children living at home at time of divorce. She has always worked outside of the home. I now reside in Texas working at a job where I make a lot less than I did when we divorced. Can I file to modify the amount of support I pay her monthly and for the ten years she was awarded the support? And if so, do I file in Ohio or Texas?
A: To modify a spousal support (Ohio calls alimony spousal support) award in a divorce decree, there are a minimum of two threshold requirements: 1) the decree or separation agreement must specifically have made mention that the court would have continuing jurisdiction over the spousal support or the power to modify it, and 2) that the circumstances of either party have changed to justify a modification of the award. A change in wages or salary is considered a change in circumstances. However, the Ohio Supreme Court has held that the change must be a "substantial" change.
What this means: You need to look at your separation agreement/decree to see if mentions anything about the Court having continuing jurisdiction over the spousal support. If so, you need to contact an Ohio attorney to evaluate whether or not the change in income rises to the level of being a significant enough change to justify modifying the spousal support award.
If you meet the above requirements, you would file in Ohio.
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