Life changes. Circumstances change.

When you got divorced, the Colorado court issued an order requiring you to pay spousal support to your former spouse. But now, some time later, that order no longer fits.

That could be because your company downsized, and you lost your job. Or maybe, your ex-spouse got the opposite news: a promotion and big bump in pay. Whatever the case, you can ask the court to modify the existing court order for the maintenance amount if, according to court documents, “circumstances have changed that are substantial and continuing so that either a change in the amount of maintenance or termination of the maintenance is appropriate.”

Spousal support usually lasts for a set amount of time. For spousal support modification, you’ll need to file appropriate paperwork and ask for reconsideration.

Within seven weeks of the day you file your motion, the court will decide whether to dismiss the application, schedule a hearing or grant the motion without a hearing. You also will need to pay a filing fee.

This filing isn’t a one-way document. The recipient of the support, and not just the payor, may request an increase in the monthly support amount.

With this submission, you must include all the evidence you have that supports the reason for your modification request. Your evidence will depend on your reason, but you should supply as much proof as possible to increase the chances of your modification being granted.

Whichever party submits the paperwork should attach evidence that shows why the order should be modified. If you’ve lost your job, contact the human resources department at your former employer and ask for a letter that states you are no longer employed and why, such as being laid off. Also include notices from the Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment to prove you are collecting unemployment.

If you’ve had to leave your job because of an illness and medical treatments, your doctor can submit paperwork, and you can include medical bills.

The spousal support award to your former spouse seemed appropriate at the time of your divorce, but if it no longer is, a modification request is your first step. A family law attorney can help you prepare your best case.