Under certain circumstances, the court will direct one party to make payments to the other following the dissolution of the marriage. This payment is known as alimony or spousal support and it is meant to ensure that one party is not gravely financially disadvantaged to the point of relying on government support to meet their needs after the divorce.
However, spousal support comes with its share of conditions. And when these conditions no longer apply, then one or both parties may initiate the process of terminating spousal support payments.
Here are three questions that can help you determine whether you should stop paying alimony:
Has the purpose of the alimony been realized?
Depending on the circumstances of the divorce, spousal support can be short-term or long-term. Short-term spousal support can also be known as rehabilitative spousal support. This form of alimony is designed to help the receiving spouse acquire skills, work experience or education necessary to secure a job so they can sustain themselves.
You may mutually agree to terminate spousal support payments if the goal of the payment has been realized or if the receiving party fails to follow through with their end of the bargain.
Has your ex entered a new relationship?
Basically, your financial obligation to your ex stops when they remarry or enter into cohabitation with a romantic partner.
In the case of a remarriage, the paying party may not need a court order to terminate spousal support. However, if the receiving party cohabits, then the paying party will need to provide evidence of cohabitation. This can be in the form of shared utility bills or shared postal address (unless you ex admits to cohabitation).
Spousal support is never cast in stone. Find out how you can protect your rights and interests while dealing with spousal support payments.