March 7, 2014. Unlike property settlements in a divorce case, spousal support can be modified if a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled today in Sisson v. Sisson, that a significant illness was a change in circumstances and warranted an increase in spousal support. In this case, the wife developed an incurable blood cancer. Due to limitations in her work ability and her medical costs, the court increased the spousal support amount from $500 a month to $1,600 a month for the remainder of her life. How did the court decide to increase the amount? The court based the increase on the best available understanding of the wife’s future financial needs during her life expectancy.

When considering a change in spousal support, the court will look at changes in employment, income, earning capacity, health and medical expenses. The changes must be significant, permanent, and not within the contemplation of the court at the time of the decree. In this case, the wife had planned to go back to school to become a cosmetologist. Due to her illness and the hand tremors caused by the illness, this was not realistic. She obtained employment, but at a lower pay then anticipated at the time of the divorce. Therefore, the court cited these grounds for the modification.

For additional information regarding spousal support or family law, contact the Goosmann Law Firm at or call 712-226-4000.


Subscribe Our Blog

DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. By visiting this website, blog, or post you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Goosmann Law Firm attorneys and website publisher. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Goosmann Law Firm, PLC, or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.