A party’s involuntary loss of a job and subsequent employment at a lower wage, are not necessarily determinative for a reduction in alimony. There are criteria that a Court must consider in determining whether the spouse seeking modification has established a case for modification. It is well-settled law that temporary unemployment or a temporary change in employment is not adequate to reduce alimony. Other factors a Court must consider are the party’s assets and income that he or she could have earned from personal attention to business as well as the efforts made to find comparable employment. In addition, the Court may analyze the post-marital lifestyle (expenses) of the paying spouse in view of the marital standard of living.
In the recent case of Ianneillo vs Ianneillo, the ex-Husband was laid off from his job and quickly found re-employment at a lower salary at which time he filed a Motion to Reduce Alimony. The Court focused on the fact that the Husband remarried and purchased a new marital residence which had a substantial monthly mortgage payment. This latter obligation was voluntarily incurred without regard to his pre-existing alimony obligation. It was also noted that there was nothing in the record to establish that his current job was more than temporary. Further, although he made statements to the Court in his Certification that his efforts to find new employment at a higher salary were diligent, he did not prove same to the Court. As a result, the Court denied his application for a reduction in alimony.