In a recent appellate court decision, the court has provided further guidance to a litigant seeking to decrease or terminate their alimony obligation. In Storey v. Storey the Appellate Division held that if a supporting spouse is seeking to decrease a previously ordered support obligation so as to reflect the obligor’s current – and decreased – earnings the obligor who has selected a new, less lucrative career must establish that the benefits he or she derives from the change substantially outweigh the disadvantages to the supported spouse. If the paying spouse cannot make such a showing, then the court is directed to imopute income to that spouse consistent with his or her prior earnings. This procedure is not to be followed, however, when the paying spouse is seeking the modifcation based upona diminished capacity to earn. If it can be shown that a parties’ capacity to earn – as opposed to nothing more than a voluntary redcution of income – then the court is to impute earnings that are consistent with the obligor’s capacity to earn in light of his or her background and experience. For either approach, the burden of proof lies with the party seeking the modification. In light of this decision, careful consideration must be given to the underlying reason for seeking the decrease so that the proper proofs can be presented and the proper level of income is imputed if appropriate.