Spousal support, or alimony, is often a vital part of a divorce settlement. When one spouse relies financially on the other during the marriage, they may require this support to maintain their lifestyle after the divorce.
It’s important to know the specific circumstances that can terminate these payments. Understanding these can help both parties plan for the future and adjust to their new situations with less stress and confusion.
Death or remarriage of the recipient
Payments of spousal support can end in straightforward situations, such as the death of either the payor or the recipient. Generally, the obligation to pay alimony ceases when either party dies. Also, if the alimony recipient remarries, the payments often stop. The courts typically expect the new spouse to assist with their financial needs, removing the original need for alimony.
Completion or noncompliance of a rehabilitative plan
Sometimes, courts might assign rehabilitative alimony to a spouse. They do so to help the recipient gain the skills or credentials needed to support themselves. If the recipient completes this plan early or doesn’t follow through with it, it could result in the termination of alimony payments.
Notable change in circumstances
Significant changes in circumstances for the payor or recipient can also end spousal support. This can occur due to various reasons, such as a big drop in income, job loss or if the alimony recipient starts earning significantly more or acquires more assets. If the payor faces financial hardships, or if the recipient begins cohabitating with a new partner, these situations could also end alimony.
In these cases, the payor can request the court to review and possibly modify the alimony order.
End of alimony term
With some types of spousal support, like durational alimony, the payments are set to end after a certain time. When this time is up, the payments stop automatically.
Assistance in the process
Alimony is an important part of financial support after a divorce, but several situations can lead to its termination. Understanding these instances can help both parties know their rights and responsibilities. However, managing the details of spousal support can be challenging. In that case, it might be beneficial to seek the help of a family law attorney to assist with the situation.