Skip to content

Alimony Modifications: Can Alimony Be Increased After Divorce?

Alimony Modifications, can alimony be increase 1

Alimony Modifications

Can alimony be increased after divorce? Understanding the legal dynamics of alimony modifications — Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance or spousal support, is a critical aspect of divorce proceedings, aimed at ensuring financial stability for the dependent spouse post-divorce. However, circumstances change over time, leading to questions about the modifiability of alimony arrangements. One common question that arises is whether alimony can be increased after divorce. Understanding the legal dynamics surrounding this issue is crucial for both parties involved. In this article we will talk about Alimony Modifications.

Factors Determining Alimony:

Before delving into whether alimony can be increased post-divorce, it’s essential to grasp the factors that determine alimony awards initially. These factors of Alimony Modifications may include:

  1. Length of the marriage
  2. Income and earning potential of both spouses
  3. Standard of living established during the marriage
  4. Age and health of each spouse
  5. Financial needs and resources of each spouse
  6. Contributions made by each spouse to the marriage
  7. Any agreements made between the spouses
  8. Any other relevant factors deemed important by the court.

Understanding these factors provides a foundation for assessing the potential for alimony modifications.

Modifiability and Alimony Modifications:

In many jurisdictions, alimony orders are subject to modification under certain circumstances. Courts recognize that life changes, and what may have been an appropriate alimony arrangement at the time of divorce may become inadequate or unjust over time. Common grounds for seeking a modification of alimony include:

  • Change in Financial Circumstances: Significant changes in the financial circumstances of either spouse, such as job loss, disability, or a substantial increase in income, can warrant a modification of alimony. For example, if the paying spouse experiences a significant increase in income, the recipient spouse may petition for an increase in alimony to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage.
  • Change in Health Status: If either spouse experiences a significant change in health status that impacts their ability to work and earn income, this may serve as grounds for modifying alimony. For instance, if the recipient spouse develops a chronic illness that prevents them from working, they may seek an increase in alimony to cover medical expenses and living costs.
  • Cohabitation or Remarriage: In many jurisdictions, alimony obligations may be terminated or modified if the recipient spouse remarries or begins cohabitating with a new partner. However, the laws regarding cohabitation and remarriage vary by jurisdiction, and certain factors, such as whether the new partner contributes to the recipient spouse’s financial support, may influence the court’s decision.
  • Duration of Alimony: Some alimony orders specify a duration rather than an indefinite obligation. In such cases, the recipient spouse may seek an extension or increase in alimony if they can demonstrate continued need beyond the initially specified period.

Legal Process for Modifying Alimony:

To seek an increase in alimony after divorce, the party requesting the alimony modifications typically files a petition with the court outlining the grounds for the modification. Both parties may be required to provide financial documentation and evidence supporting their respective positions. The court will then evaluate the merits of the petition based on the applicable legal standards and make a determination.

It’s essential to note that the process for modifying alimony varies by jurisdiction, and individuals seeking an alimony modification should consult with a qualified family law attorney familiar with the laws in their area.


Alimony serves as a vital mechanism for providing financial support to dependent spouses following divorce. While alimony orders are typically issued based on the circumstances at the time of divorce, they are subject to modification under certain conditions. Changes in financial circumstances, health status, cohabitation, or remarriage may warrant an increase in alimony. However, the legal process for modifying alimony can be complex, and individuals seeking an alimony modification should seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney. Understanding the legal dynamics surrounding alimony modifications is essential for both paying and receiving spouses to ensure fair and equitable outcomes post-divorce. ■

BONUS (Video):
Alimony Modifications: Can You Go Back and Change Your Alimony?