Can you modify spousal maintenance?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | Family Law

Under Arizona law, people can receive spousal maintenance if they need extra financial support after the divorce. This support order is not always a static arrangement. Some situations may require a court to either increase or decrease the amount of support that people receive.

People usually cannot just request a change in their spousal maintenance. The Arizona State Legislature says that there have to be certain conditions requiring a new support order.

Which conditions qualify for modification?

People usually have to experience a significant change in their circumstances. A spouse receiving spousal maintenance, for example, may need more health insurance if he or she develops health problems. In this situation, a court could order the other spouse to pay more maintenance. Additionally, the recipient could start a new job with a substantial salary. This situation could result in a request to decrease the support payments.

The spouse who makes maintenance payments can also request a modification. If this person loses a job or becomes incapacitated, the current support order may become unmanageable.

When does spousal maintenance end?

The specific terms of the maintenance order dictate how long people have to make these payments. Some courts may order temporary maintenance as one spouse returns to school to earn a degree or gain more job skills. In this situation, people only have to provide support for a few months or a few years. After this, a court terminates the payments.

Sometimes, though, a court may not establish a set timeline. In this situation, people usually make payments until their former spouse remarries. The ex-spouse’s death can also trigger the end of these payments.

As soon as people realize they need to modify the spousal maintenance agreement, they should reach out to the court.