Whenever there is any change to an alimony agreement, whether there is a change in the amount to be paid or how often it is paid out, written notice must be provided to all parties. This notice must also be entered into the court file, and depending on the circumstances and your state's laws, a hearing must be held before a judge to approve the establishment or modification.
How to Use These Letters
Should you need to communicate with your ex-spouse regarding alimony, or enter an official document into the court file, these templates may help. To begin:
- Click on the link on each letter.
- Download the letter to your computer, and open the PDF. (Note that to see the letter properly, you'll have to have the latest addition of Adobe reader, which is free.) If you are having any trouble, please use LTK's guide to downloading.
- Each letter contains blank spaces in which you enter the appropriate information as indicated. In some instances, you will have to delete the prompts that are in parentheses.
As with all legal documents, specificity is key. Therefore, be as specific as possible when completing these letters. A copy of the letter must be provided to all interested parties, including the non-filing spouse as well as his attorney. In addition, the letter has to be filed with the court.
Alimony Agreement Letter
This letter notifies the court and other interested parties, such as a mediator or lawyer, that the parties have agreed to an amount of alimony one spouse will pay to the other. It sets out the amount of alimony and the schedule upon which it is to be paid. The letter is intended to be sent by one spouse after an agreement is reached and is designed to become part of a court file for the separation or divorce.
To use this letter, either spouse may insert the amount of payment to which they have agreed. The filing spouse should also insert a payment schedule, which in most states, can be weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, or annually. This is the essential information that must be provided to the court.
Alimony Demand Letter
This letter is intended to be sent when the spouse required to pay alimony has failed to make a timely payment. It is intended as a precursor to going before the court to have any agreement enforced and payment made. Essentially, it is a last-ditch effort to get the non-paying spouse to pay.
To use this letter, the spouse who is supposed to be receiving alimony inserts the name of the spouse required to pay alimony, the amount that is to be paid, the schedule upon which it was to be paid, and the first date that payment was not received. This information is required for the court to take any action on non-payment of alimony.
Acknowledgement of Spousal Support
This spousal support letter is intended to be sent to a third party requesting verification of alimony payments. For example, a loan officer or rental agent may require this letter to verify an applicant's (meaning the spouse receiving alimony) income prior to making a loan or approving a rental application.
To use this letter, the spouse paying alimony provides the amount of and payment schedule for the payments he makes. The paying spouse also indicates when payments are to stop, which is a common piece of information third-parties request.
Request for Alteration to Alimony Payments
This letter is designed to be used to petition the court for a change to alimony payments that have previously been agreed upon. The letter can be used by a spouse requesting more money in each payment or a spouse looking to decrease the amount he pays. Such a letter almost always requires a court hearing, even if the other party agrees to the change, and therefore is directed to the judge and not the other spouse.
If the spouse using this letter is seeking more money, he or she must specify the amount previously received, the new amount sought, and why the new amount is sought. This request must be supported by documentation showing need.
If a spouse wanting to pay less money seeks to use this letter, he or she must detail how much he previously paid and how much he or she now wishes to pay. The reduction in payment amount must be supported by documentation showing an inability to continue paying the currently required amount.
Termination of Spousal Support
This letter notifies the paying spouse that he or she no longer needs to pay alimony for a legal reason releasing him or her from the obligation. In most states, cohabitation, remarriage or a specified date already agreed upon releases the paying spouse from the obligation. The letter serves as a formal recognition of the end of the need to pay and usually does not require court approval.
To use this letter, the spouse making alimony payments indicates the date upon which payments no longer need to be made and explains why. This information shows that there is a legal reason the obligation doesn't apply any longer, releasing him from subsequent legal action for non-payment of alimony.
Creating Your Letter
Each of the letters discussed in this article can be printed and edited to suit your needs by inserting the appropriate information as indicated. Note these letters are not intended to be used as a substitute for legal advice. Contact an attorney prior to using one of these letters and filing it with the court to ensure that your actions satisfy state law and are appropriate.