If I negotiate permanent alimony, does this mean the amount of support will stay the same indefinitely?
No, permanent alimony is not permanent in that sense. The alimony payments can be negotiated upward or downward should there be a change in circumstances.
For example: one spouse may need additional money for an additional expense, such as medical or health expenses. A hearing can be held to adjust the award. On the other hand, should that spouse need less, do to re-marriage, it can be adjusted downward.
Another example: if the paying spouse should suffer a reversal of fortune and a loss of income, he or she could ask the court for a downward adjustment due to changed circumstances. This loss of income should be in good faith and not through any fault of his or her own. Please keep in mind that no individual can voluntarily lower his or her income to avoid support payments.