Alimony: Factors that Can Terminate the Agreement

man handing over money

In Texas, alimony is called spousal maintenance, and it is intended to help balance post-divorce finances when one spouse experiences an economic downturn and the other has the means to help offset the financial discrepancy. The duration and amount of alimony are based on wide-ranging factors, and once it is set, it generally holds until the court’s order runs its course.

There are instances, however, that can terminate alimony altogether, and whether you are the recipient or the person paying alimony, it is a good idea to have a better idea about what these circumstances include, and an experienced Copperas Cove divorce attorney can help.

If the Recipient Remarries

If you receive alimony from your ex, the agreement set up by the court (or that you settled between yourselves) will no longer apply if you remarry. This is one of the rare instances in which the payor does not need a court order to change the terms. If you remarry, your ex is no longer obligated to make your alimony payments – and he or she can stop making them immediately upon said remarriage. If your ex, however, owes you back alimony payments, he or she remains on the hook for these.

Moving in with a New Romantic Partner

If you move in with a new romantic partner – called cohabitation – it can also affect your alimony payments. Your ex, however, does not have the right to immediately stop your payments simply because you have moved in with someone else. It is important to note that moving in with a roommate will not alter your alimony agreement. In order to stop paying alimony, your ex will need to file a motion with the court requesting that his or her payments cease. It is also your ex’s burden to demonstrate that you are indeed cohabitating – and not simply living with a roommate.

A Significant Change in Circumstances

If you or your ex can demonstrate that either one of you has undergone a significant change in your circumstances – that alters the parameters upon which your alimony payments are based – the court will hear your argument. The following are the kinds of significant changes that can affect an alimony modification:

  • If the payor experiences a significant downturn in his or her financial circumstances

  • If the recipient experiences a significant downturn in his or her financial circumstances

  • If the recipient experiences a significant increase in his or her financial circumstances

If the change in circumstances is significant enough (in terms of the recipient's financial increase or the payor’s financial downturn), the court may terminate alimony altogether. Otherwise, it may determine that a modification is in order.

Look to an Experienced Copperas Cove Divorce Attorney for the Legal Guidance You Need

Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Copperas Cove, Texas – is a practiced divorce attorney with the experience, legal insight, and drive to help you. Your case is important, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today

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