If you are headed for a divorce, there is a chance the court will direct one spouse to pay spousal maintenance. This payment is intended to mitigate the economic effects of the divorce by ensuring that the receiving party maintains a standard of living that equates to what they had during the marriage.
But spousal maintenance is not cast in stone. Certain changes in circumstances can justify the modification or termination of the payments. Specifically, here are three circumstances that can justify the termination of spousal support payments.
Remarriage or cohabitation
Legally speaking, your financial responsibility to your ex automatically comes to an end when they remarry or cohabit with a romantic partner. The only exception to this (which is rare) is when the divorce decree expressly stipulates that alimony payments shall continue even when the receiving party remarries. So how do you prove remarriage or cohabitation?
Sometimes, your ex may inform you about their marriage or remarriage If they do, you may rely on their confession to petition for termination of spousal maintenance. If they do not, however, then you will need evidence to prove your claim. Some of the evidence you can present to prove cohabitation includes social media posts or witness statements. You may also obtain a court order to obtain your ex’s marriage record.
Death of either party
Spousal support obligation cannot be passed down to your estate. Likewise, the recipient’s estate cannot claim spousal support upon their death. Thus, the death of either party automatically ends spousal support payments.
Sometimes, the court may direct spousal support to help the receiving party acquire the skills or training necessary to find work. If this objective has been realized, both parties may mutually agree to end spousal maintenance. However, do keep in mind that you need to get the court to approve this agreement.
Safeguarding your rights
Spousal support can be a contentious subject during and after the divorce. Learning more about New York’s divorce and spousal support laws can help you safeguard your rights and interests while litigating alimony.