Can I stop paying alimony?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2021 | divorce

If you were ordered to pay alimony (also known as spousal support) following your divorce, you may be eager to see the day when it ends. There are ways to end your payments earlier than expected, but those exceptions are limited.

The factors that are involved in alimony determinations may include things such as your age and health, the earning capacities of your and your ex, the length of your marriage and others. Fortunately, those same types of factors could influence when you stop paying.

When can you stop paying your ex-spouse support?

The first time you can stop paying is after you have completed the court-ordered payment plan. Whether this was a lump sum or a payout over the course of a few years, you should be able to stop paying once you have covered that support in full.

Another time you may be able to stop paying is if your ex-spouse gets a well-paid job and no longer needs the support. You could petition the court to stop paying at that point.

You may also petition the court to stop paying if you have lost your job or suffered from an injury that makes it impossible for you to pay that support any longer.

For permanent alimony, you may need to wait until there is a major change, such as if you lose your job or if your ex-spouse gets remarried, before you’ll be able to stop paying. Even then, you will need to go to court to ask to stop further payments or to reduce the amount that you pay.

Can you convince your ex to stop accepting payments?

You have a right to ask if the other person would be comfortable stopping the support payments. You and your ex may come to an agreement. If you do, then you can petition the court to modify the alimony agreement, which may help you reduce what you owe each month or eliminate your obligation to pay support at all.

You shouldn’t stop paying without court approval. If you have questions, make sure you look into your legal options before you take action.