Spousal Support and Remarriage in Texas
Spousal support is generally referred to as alimony. It represents payments – made by a former spouse with the financial means to help – to his or her ex (who experienced a financial downturn upon divorce). Not every divorce leads to alimony, but it can play an important financial role. If you are paying alimony and your ex remarries or moves in with their romantic partner, you may no longer be legally obligated to make such payments. Sometimes, however, exes are not as honest as they should be regarding their living situations.
In the State of Texas, the obligation to pay alimony ends with any one of the following:
The death of either party
The payee’s remarriage
The payee’s entrance into long-term cohabitation with a romantic partner
These parameters are all relatively straightforward, but if your ex chooses to keep the fact of their marriage or live-in romantic relationship from you, you may end up paying alimony far longer than the law requires.
Having a Roommate Is a Different Matter
Many people choose to have a roommate to help keep living expenses down, and this generally does not affect the matter of alimony. If your ex, however, has a romantic partner that he or she is masquerading as a roommate, your alimony payments could be augmenting their household income artificially (outside the boundaries of the law). If your ex chooses to act unscrupulously, it might not be challenging to keep the fact of a romantic live-in relationship from you (especially if you are not in frequent communication with one another).
Proving Your Suspicions
If you have an inkling or idea that your ex-spouse may be attempting to keep the fact of a live-in romantic relationship from you in order to continue receiving alimony, you will need to gather evidence in support of this belief before you can ask the court to terminate your alimony obligation. Such evidence can include:
Photos and comments posted on social media that allude to or directly address a romantic relationship (if your ex’s so-called roommate is also the star of his or her romantic Instagram posts, he or she will have a difficult time refuting the nature of their relationship to the judge).
Messages, comments, emails, or texts between you and your ex that inadvertently relay the nature of your ex’s relationship with the person in question.
Although you certainly do not want to put your children in the middle of this situation, children often reveal more than they realize with their innocent comments. In other words, if you keep your ears open, you might learn some interesting facts about your ex’s living situation.
If you have a suspicion about your ex’s relationship, there is probably a reason for that suspicion, and it is a good idea to pay close attention to the clues available to you.