When the court orders you to pay alimony or awards you alimony, the order contains specific details about when it ends, how much you must pay and how often to make payments. Even though it is a court order, it does not mean that it cannot change.
You have the right, according to Mass.gov, to request a modification of alimony orders. You may make a request under two conditions.
Changes in the law
Alimony laws may change and if there is a change that would alter your order, then you can request a modification. For example, the law changed in 2012 to drastically change the system. It altered the length of alimony payments and created four types of alimony. If you had an order prior to 2012 that did not match the new law, you could request a modification. In this example, it could help you to reduce the amount of time you would pay or receive alimony.
Changes in status
The law states that if the person receiving alimony remarries, then the payments end. If you or your spouse remarries, either of you can request the change to your order. This also applies if you are paying alimony and your former spouse is living with someone in a romantic relationship.
You may also request a modification if you have financial changes or your former spouse has financial changes. If you pay and you lose income or you find out your spouse is making considerably more money, then you may want to ask the court to reduce your payments.
Lastly, upon the death of your spouse, you need to get an order to end the alimony payments. The court may not automatically stop payments upon death, but if you have an order to pay, then you could be in trouble for stopping payments without a change in the order.