Spousal maintenance payments, otherwise known as alimony, can be modified in court in a similar way to how child support payments are modified. The Maricopa County Superior Court Self-Service Center website provides instructions for how a person can petition to change a spousal maintenance order.
A petition to modify spousal maintenance in Maricopa County usually requires a filing fee and sometimes an appearance fee, so it's important to speak with an attorney before seeking alimony modification. A family law attorney can assess your case and determine if you have a strong case for a change in the amount of spousal support that you're paying or receiving.
Alimony is not a requirement of a divorce decree and it is up to a judge to determine if alimony should be awarded to a spouse in cases of divorce. In general, a person paying alimony should document and keep records of each alimony payment made. This can include making copies of each check that is used for alimony payments and keeping receipts for each alimony payment that is made by cash.
FindLaw states that courts have broad discretion in determining how much alimony should be awarded. Courts will usually consider many factors that include the length of the marriage, the couple’s standard of living during the marriage, the length of time the recipient would need to become self-sufficient, and the ability of the payer spouse to support the recipient and still support himself or herself. A judge will also look at additional factors, such as the age, physical condition, emotional state, and financial condition of the former spouses when determining how much alimony should be paid.