Alimony, commonly referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance in some states across the nation, can help ease the financial difficulties that often arise out of a divorce. Generally, alimony can be temporary or permanent, depending on the particular circumstances of the case. Alimony requires one spouse (the obligor or paying spouse) to pay money to the other spouse (the recipient or supported spouse) a set amount of money either on a period basis or in one lump sum. There are some circumstances that affect alimony by either modifying or terminating the payments. One of these includes if the supported spouse decides to remarry.

Remarriage or Cohabitation

Changes in the circumstances of either spouse may lead to changes in alimony, including modification or termination. Death of a spouse, or remarriage of the supported spouse, terminates alimony automatically. In limited situations, however, a divorce order may allow alimony to continue even after a spouse has remarried. Should the new marriage be later annulled or declared invalid, any prior alimony award that was terminated cannot be reinstated. That being said, if a paying spouse continues to pay alimony without knowing the supported ex-spouse has remarried, he or she will be entitled to a refund of any alimony paid after the date of the remarriage. On the other hand, the remarriage of the paying spouse will rarely affect alimony unless he or she cannot meet alimony obligations as well as his or her own financial needs after remarriage. In such an instance, a court may reduce the amount of support.

Cohabitation occurs when a former spouse enters into a relationship with another person without getting married and the couple lives together. Although there is no hard-and-fast definition of cohabitation in Arizona, the more closely the relationship resembles a marriage, the more likely the court will consider it cohabitation. While cohabitation does not automatically terminate alimony, the court will look at the financial circumstances of the spouses to determine whether or not modification is appropriate.  

An Arizona judge may only adjust future alimony payments; thus, changes cannot be made to alimony that has already been paid out.

Alimony Help in Tempe

If you or someone you know has questions about alimony, divorce, or any other family law related issue and is located in Arizona, the knowledgeable alimony attorney at the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack and guide you through your rights and obligations under state law. Click here today to schedule your initial case evaluation.