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Spousal support payments are often based upon an agreement of the parties, Alternatively, the court will make a decision as to whether or not alimony is awarded, and related conditions such as amount and duration.
Ending Spousal Support
Alimony payments may end earlier than defined in the order or settlement agreement due to unexpected circumstances. Examples of such circumstances are, death of either spouse, remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony, or cohabitation of receiving spouse in romantic relationship. Rehabilitative support can be challenged if the receiving spouse experiences a windfall income such as significant lottery winnings, inheritance, or similar event.
Modifying Spousal Support Payments
Alimony can be modified by filing a petition with the court showing a change in income and financial circumstances of either party. A party can file to reduce payments if their financial situation has worsened or their former spouse’s financial circumstance has improved. Conversely, a party may seek an upward increase in the reverse situation. A petition to modify alimony may only be brought after two years have passed since any previous petition for modification.