If your former spouse was awarded spousal support, you might be wondering when it is possible to terminate the order. Generally, in order to make any post-divorce modifications, the party requesting the changes must prove a substantial change of circumstances. If your former spouse’s pay increased by a negligible amount, it is unlikely it would be enough to warrant a termination or even a reduction of the spousal support order.
A Substantial Change in Circumstances
If your former spouse remarries, your alimony payments would automatically come to an end. However, if your divorce decree stated that alimony payments would continue after remarriage, you must continue to make these payments. If you were ordered to pay alimony in a lump sum, you must still pay it in full, regardless of your former spouse’s marital status.
Although it is assumed that if a former spouse cohabitates with a new partner, spousal support will automatically terminate, this is incorrect. Cohabitation will only terminate spousal support if it can be proven that it is a substitute for marriage and that both parties comingled their assets. If your former spouse named a new partner as a beneficiary in his or her will, it would also be considered a substitute for marriage and your alimony payments can be terminated. Although it is often challenging to prove cohabitation, the longer a relationship lasts, the more the couple will begin sharing their finances and expenses, which will make it substantially easier to prove in court.
On the other hand, if you were to remarry, this would not affect your spousal support payments. You would still be expected to pay spousal support unless your financial situation changed drastically and involuntarily. For example, if you were laid off, your spousal support payments might be reduced or terminated, depending on the circumstances. A reduction or termination would not be automatic, so you must request a modification from the court as soon as possible to avoid being on the hook for any missed payments. If you voluntarily left your job, however, you would still be obligated to continue paying spousal support.
Modifying spousal support can be a complex process, so if you are unsure if your circumstances warrant a termination or reduction, it is crucial to reach out to an experienced family law attorney to obtain the answers you seek, so you can make the best decision.
Contact Our Skilled Family Law Attorneys Today!
If you wish to terminate or reduce your spousal support payments, contact the team at Smith Law Offices, LLC for the exceptional legal assistance you need to ensure the best results for your case. Our law firm is backed by more than two decades of experience and a proven track record of success, so you can trust your case will be in good hands with us.
Contact our law office today at (636) 400-1177 to schedule an initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable family law attorneys to discuss the details of your case.