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Two sides to every request to modify spousal support

Spousal support has the potential to be a divisive issue during divorce. And things don't necessarily get easier after these decisions have been made.

At some point, one person may request a modification of support. This can spark or reignite a dispute that reveals how differently two parties see their situations and why these cases can be so complicated.

Millionaire vs. millionaire

Recently, for instance retired Yankees player Alex Rodriguez requested a reduction in the support he has been paying his ex-wife for about a decade. According to reports, he says that since retiring from baseball, his earnings have dropped significantly and he is not worth nearly as much as estimates claim he is.

Therefore, he says that paying $115,000 a month in combined child and spousal is no longer appropriate. He has requested that the payments be lowered to $20,000, which he says is still far more than is required and would mostly be to cover the needs of his two daughters.

Rodriguez also argues that his ex is a millionaire herself and has multiple homes. And despite having an advanced degree, she chooses not to work. As such, he feels a modification is fair and in order.

His ex, on the other hand, sees things differently. She evidently agrees that Rodriguez's earnings have decreased, but not by the measures he claims they have. Sources show that he earned $21 million in 2017 in the final year of his Yankees contract and collects a paycheck as a business consultant and baseball commentator on ESPN.

She also has agreed to a not-insignificant decrease in monthly payments, saying she was willing to go as low as $50,000, which leaves them at an impasse.

Getting to the truth

This case shows how differently two people can see their circumstances and needs. What one person sees as excessive, another might see as reasonable. And when there are complex assets involved, it can be very difficult to get an accurate image of just how much one person has or needs.

Considering how complicated spousal support matters can be -- particularly for people with significant assets -- having legal and financial counsel when it comes to spousal support modification requests can be crucial. 

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