You, as the primary earner in your family, did everything right in your divorce.
You agreed to raise your children, allowing your ex the freedom to start over. You shared your joint assets, including the equity in your home and your retirement accounts. You funded the college educations of your children and even paid a very fair spousal support amount over the time you've been divorced.
There is no doubt that your spouse worked hard to raise your children and handle the responsibilities at home, but that was years ago, and with the kids on their own, you want to downsize and start putting more money away for retirement. But the spousal support is getting in the way of your needs.
Your spousal support agreement said the amount can be modifiable, and you think now is the time to look into a reduction.
Bringing this up will involve a tough conversation, and you could see the two of you winding up in court. You have an option, though: mediation.
Through mediation, you can sit down with your ex and the mediator and make your case. Once you both have given your sides, you might be able to come to a new agreement without having to go to court.
Litigation is costly, and successful mediation can save money. It also can help to preserve your relationship rather than see it turn contentious.
Even if the mediation is unsuccessful, you will have a better understanding as to why your ex believes the agreement should stay in place. If you wind up in court, you will have had a chance to figure out a proper rebuttal.
In family law, we tend to think of mediation just for divorces. But for many business agreements – and spousal support – mediation is a great way to come to a compromise and avoid going to court.