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Understanding the end of a spousal maintenance order

Although alimony may be ordered for the duration of the recipient's life, many Arizona spousal maintenance awards terminate long before the individual who receives their former spouse's money pass away. Exactly when an agreement or order for alimony will end will depend upon the terms of the document that controls the post-divorce relationship. They type of alimony ordered and the needs of the recipient party may be controlling with regard to when the obligation will end for the payer.

For example, a court may order one party to pay the other support for as long as it takes for the recipient to be prepared to enter the job force. That may involve paying spousal support to a party while they attend school or trainings to become ready for work; this type of alimony may be used to rehabilitate the recipient and their capacity to become self-supporting.

A different spousal maintenance relationship, though, may be structured differently. If the recipient and their former spouse had a long-term marriage and divorced late in their lives, the recipient may not be able to start working at their advanced age. In such a case that recipient may be awarded alimony for the duration of their life.

In many cases spousal support will end if the recipient spouse gets married again, and paying spouses can seek to change their obligations if they or their former partners experience changes in their financial circumstances. It is always a good idea for individuals to discuss their divorce and spousal maintenance questions with their family law attorneys to receive case-specific advice. The general discussion provided herein is intended as information only.

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