When you are awarded alimony payments from your ex-spouse in a Texas divorce case, you’ll need to watch your actions to ensure you don’t lose alimony. There are two types of maintenance in Texas: court ordered and contractual. The court ordered spousal support has a distinct end date, but that end date can be pushed up if any of the following events occur.
Events that Can Terminate Court-Ordered Alimony
Court-ordered alimony is typically only awarded if at least one of the following is true about the recipient spouse.
- The marriage lasted ten years or longer, and the recipient spouse made an effort to gain employment or develop skills to become employable during the divorce proceedings.
- The paying spouse committed family violence.
- The recipient spouse has an incapacitating disability.
- A child of the marriage has a physical or mental impairment, and the recipient spouse cannot earn sufficient income because of caring for and supervising the child.
Of these four requirement options, two can potentially become untrue over time. If the recipient spouse’s disability at some point no longer prevents him or her from earning a reasonable income, alimony may be terminated. Likewise, an ex-spouse could request termination of alimony if the couple’s child is no longer considered disabled or no longer requires dedicated parental care.
If the recipient spouse is found to be able to meet monthly expenses on his or her own, then court-ordered alimony may cease. The sudden capability to handle one’s bills commonly occurs when the recipient spouse starts a job or obtains a large sum of money such as lottery winnings or an inheritance. Of course, the opposite of this situation would be changing spousal support when an ex loses his or her job.
Events that Can Terminate Contractual Alimony
Contractual alimony is alimony voluntarily paid to an ex-spouse and is not controlled by the court. Divorcing couples typically meet with a mediator or divorce attorney to draft a maintenance agreement that sets the terms for the alimony duration.
Perhaps the most common reason people lose alimony is cohabitation. In nearly all contractual maintenance cases in Texas, if the receiving spouse enters into a continuing romantic relationship or remarries the contractual alimony terminates. The maintenance agreement can provide for continuation if the recipient spouse is found to be cohabiting with another.
Protect Your Alimony Payments
To terminate alimony before the scheduled end of your court-ordered or mutual agreement, your ex-spouse must have proof of eligibility of termination. If you believe your ex-spouse is unfairly trying to terminate your alimony contact The Texas Divorce Lawyer today to schedule a consultation regarding your divorce case: 214-265-7630.