Terminating Alimony

Terminating alimony is much more difficult than modifying alimony but at the same time, it is not impossible. There are several ways to do it but I will focus on the more common reasons why alimony is terminated. The two most obvious reasons to terminate alimony are the death of one of the parties and the remarriage of the supporting spouse. Clearly, these issues aren't really litigating. But for your ex passing away, most are not dumb enough to get married so as to end alimony. That brings us to the next reason why alimony can be terminated:


Often times, people are smart enough to not get married but dumb enough to come too close to the line. We call this cohabitation. In a legal context, it means that someone is essentially married but for the actual legal status to avoid the impact on the alimony obligation. These motions involved a two step procedure: first, you must show that your ex is actually living with someone in a marriage like relationship and second, that your ex is either supporting the new person or is being supported by him/her. Social media is often help prove that the two are holding themselves out as a type of married couple but a private investigator is often used to establish that this isn't just a normal dating couple. Once that is established, the court will permit discovery on the economic issues. While cohabitation can be used to terminate alimony, it sometimes results in just a modification if the case is settled.

Increase income of the supported spouse

I think its rare for the supported spouse to have such an increase in income to enable the other spouse to file a motion to eliminate the alimony all together. However, it is certainly not impossible. Of course, there are other ways that the spouse can come into money. If you have any idea that your former spouse may have come into a lot of money, discuss this issue with a lawyer ASAP.

Decrease in income of the payor spouse

It seems that most motions to terminate alimony are focused on a decrease of the payor spouse's income. However, there has to be a very significant decrease of income for this to be a possibility. Often times, this occurs due to health or long term unemployment. Motions based upon health need to be backed up by good doctors who write good reports. The concern is that the supported spouse will argue that the health issue is temporary or otherwise does not prevent the payor spouse from working.

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