In all but Nevada, alimony is subject to modification, up or down, if the circumstances of either the payor or the recipient warrant such change. Usually, this change has to be what is termed “significant.”
For example, if the recipient of permanent alimony wins a $10-milllion lottery prize, the payor of the alimony may well request a reduction or termination of payments. However, if the payor won big on the lottery, the former spouse cannot request a slice of the pie because the law does not entitle a former spouse to a share of the post-divorce good fortune of the payor.
Alimony payors may argue for a reduction in the face of long-time (six or more month unemployment), a mental or emotional disability causing unemployment, external changes in the market, or “good faith” retirement.