If you are going through a divorce and you are financially dependent on your spouse, the court will usually consider granting spousal support. Spousal support also known as alimony is a type of court-ordered payment that requires the higher-earning spouse to pay a certain amount of money to the lower-earning spouse to provide financial support to cover the cost of living before, during, and/or after the divorce. When the court is determining whether to grant the lower-earning spouse spousal support they look at three primary factors. They evaluate the lower-earning spouse’s actual need for financial support, their ability to earn a living, and whether the higher-income spouse can afford monthly maintenance payments. If the court deems it reasonable, it may order the higher-earning spouse to pay spousal support. With that being said, many wonder whether spousal support is automatically adjusted for inflation. Keep reading to learn whether alimony is adjusted to reflect current inflation rates and discover how our trusted Monmouth County Spousal Support Attorneys can help you.
How does inflation affect spousal support?
If you are granted spousal support, your ex-spouse will be required to pay you a certain amount of money each month to cover the cost of living. Inflation can have a significant effect on the amount of spousal support received. This is because when the inflation rate increases the prices of goods over a given period, your pre-existing order may not be enough to cover your necessary expenses. In some cases, the court will automatically set a spousal support award to reflect current inflation rates to avoid this issue. However, in some cases, the court does not adjust spousal support for inflation. When this is the case, you can request a post-divorce modification to increase your award to reflect current inflation rates.
What is the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) clause?
In some cases, the court will automatically include the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) clause when setting the amount of a spousal support award to reflect inflation rates. Essentially, this clause adjusts benefits to counteract the effects of inflation. If the court does not automatically include this clause when setting spousal support, it can be pursued in a post-divorce modification request. When requesting this modification, an individual is asking the court to increase or reappraise their award based on the current cost of living. If the request is granted, the amount will be reappraised annually to reflect current inflation rates to help those that need financial support to afford their necessary expenses.
For more information on how inflation can affect spousal support, contact one of our skilled Monmouth County spousal support attorneys. Our firm is committed to helping our clients ensure their spousal support award is enough to cover their necessary expenses.