Can You Modify or Terminate Alimony Early in Arizona?
Early Modification or Termination of Alimony in Arizona
Some people ask the question can you modify or terminate spousal maintenance early in Arizona. The simple answer is yes. Either party may seek to modify spousal maintenance or terminate spousal maintenance early in Arizona if the person can demonstrate there has been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that warrant a modification or termination of spousal maintenance.
The modification of spousal maintenance, however, may depend upon whether alimony was awarded by a judge after a trial or was based upon an agreement of the parties.
For example, a written agreement to pay alimony that is “incorporated but not merged” with the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage may impact the determination whether the alimony may be modified based upon the written “contract” reached by the parties. You may want to read our summary of the Arizona Court of Appeals decision in the MacMillan v. Schwartz case that discusses this situation.
You should read our article regarding the Van Dyke v. Steinle case on whether a former spouse who receives alimony from her former husband and later moves in with a love interest constitutes a basis to modify alimony in Arizona or watch the following video that explains that case.
Van Dyke v. Steinle | Modification of Alimony in Arizona
When alimony is awarded in Arizona, it can be difficult to terminate the alimony award. In most cases, it is not possible to terminate alimony payments. However, there are a few instances where alimony may be terminated or modified in your case.
For example, if the party receiving alimony decides to get remarried, the Arizona court has a legal obligation to terminate any remaining alimony payments, unless both parties agreed in the alimony order that the remarriage of the spouse receiving the alimony payments would not have those payments terminated upon remarriage.
A de facto marriage (a non-legalized marriage that assumes a couple is married by virtue of their cohabitation) may, however, constitute a basis for modifying or terminating alimony in Arizona. The court will evaluate whether the person receiving alimony payments has reduced his or her monthly living expenses by sharing those expenses with a new love interest by virtue of living together.
Call the experienced Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona alimony attorneys at (480)305-8300 at Hildebrand Law, PC to learn more about adopting a child in Arizona.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about modifying or terminating alimony in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about alimony laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through an alimony modification or termination case should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.