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Can an alimony award be changed after a divorce is finalized?

Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is financial assistance paid from one individual to another. The two relevant individuals were once married and upon their divorce a court of competent jurisdiction provided them an order stating that the payer is obligated to provide certain amounts of money to the recipient for a certain amount of time. Arizona residents may ask for alimony when they bring their marriages to their ends.

However, as anyone who has gone through a divorce knows, life changes course frequently. The alimony award that a payer was obligated to provide to their ex-spouse may suddenly become unpayable or burdensome if the payer loses their job or experiences a different life event that reduces or eliminates their income. When circumstances warrant, individuals bound by alimony obligations may seek to end or change their mandatory payments to their ex-spouses through motions in the courts.

Motions to modify alimony obligations can take on different forms. In some cases, the petitioners may ask for permanent alterations to be made to their support orders. This may be the case for a paying party who has suffered a permanent disability and who is unable to earn the income they need to provide support to their ex-spouse.

Temporary modifications may also be awarded if a paying party's financial situation is expected to change for the better. Through a temporary modification, they may be able to reduce their alimony payments for a period of months until their capacity to pay in full is restored.

Alimony is an important divorce topic in Arizona. To better understand how it may impact the outcome of a martial dissolution, our readers may want to get more information about their options and rights.

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