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Is it time to terminate spousal support payments?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2022 | Divorce

Divorce comes with so many changes. Besides the obvious change in your marital status, divorce can also impact your finances. Transitioning from a two-income household to a one-income household can take a toll on most couples, especially if one party has no source of income. This is where spousal support comes in.

A spousal support order (also known as alimony) is designed to ensure the low or non-earning spouse can meet their financial needs after the divorce. Depending on the goal, spousal support can be temporary or permanent. Even so, there are a number of questions that can help you determine if it is time to end spousal support payments. Here are some of them:

Has your ex remarried?

Spousal support automatically ends when the receiving party remarries or gets into cohabitation with a romantic partner. The assumption is their new spouse or partner will be able to provide the financial support they would otherwise get from spousal support. To establish cohabitation, the court will seek to determine whether your ex and their cohabiting partner are sharing a mailing address or sharing household bills.

Have you mutually agreed on the termination?

There are a number of reasons why the court may direct a divorcing couple to pay spousal support. If the court specified that spousal support should be paid until the receiving party finds work or gains the skills necessary to find work and provide for themselves, then both parties can mutually agree to terminate spousal support payment when its intended goal has been met. Spousal support payment can also be mutually ended based on certain triggering factors. For instance, if the paying party reaches retirement age or loses their job, both parties may agree to stop any future payments.

When a couple gets divorced, the court may direct one party to pay spousal support to the other. However, it is important to understand that these payments can be terminated under a given set of circumstances.