Alimony will be terminated automatically by certain conditions, such as when the person receiving spousal support:

  • Dies
  • Remarries
  • Cohabitates, which means moving in with a new significant other
  • Becomes financially self-supporting

The person paying spousal support may also petition the court to end alimony. Conditions that would allow this include when the person paying spousal support:

  • Loses their job
  • Would suffer extreme financial hardship if required to pay
  • Would be unfairly treated if required to pay

The party attempting to terminate alimony must prove that either a condition exists that can automatically terminate alimony or that they are financially damaged so badly by alimony that the alimony must be ended to prevent further harm. However, proving unfairness in court is extremely difficult, and a real financial hardship must exist to the point that the party paying alimony cannot even continue with their normal activities. 

How Can I Prove Cohabitation?

It can often be difficult to prove that two people moving in together are in a relationship, particularly if they are of the same gender. However, one can prove cohabitation if one can show that the two people live together, share expenses, and are generally recognized as a couple. Although most state laws specifically deal only with heterosexual cohabitation, many of these states are willing to extend heterosexual cohabitation laws to homosexual couples as well. 

If Alimony Is Terminated, Can It Be Renewed Later?

No. Once alimony is terminated, it is completely over for both parties. If the receiving party wants to extend alimony beyond the termination date, they must request a modification of alimony before that date arrives. If the paying party can prove one of the automatic conditions or financial difficulties, then alimony will be terminated and cannot be renewed again. 

Do I Need a Lawyer To Help Terminate Alimony?

Attempting to terminate alimony is difficult even under the best of circumstances. It can quickly turn into a nightmare if your former spouse is very uncooperative and does not want alimony to end. If you want to put an end to alimony, then you should consult with an experienced family attorney to explore your options.