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What events could trigger a stop to alimony?

Ending a marriage comes with many financial considerations. You may need to address specific assets in your case that you wish to keep, and you may think about how those assets could affect your future. If you earn more than your spouse, you may also have concerns about paying alimony.

Alimony, or spousal support, refers to funds that the higher-earning spouse typically pays to the lower-earning spouse after the marriage comes to an end. This support can help provide funds to help the lower-earning spouse maintain a similar lifestyle and stay afloat while trying to become self-sufficient. However, alimony does not always last on a permanent basis, and some events could trigger an end to the payment obligation.

When could alimony end?

Though courts often awarded alimony more commonly to women in the past, these days, either a man or woman could receive support awards, depending on each person’s financial security. This means that, if the wife earned more than the husband, it is possible for her to pay support to him. The amount awarded in either case can depend on factors like the length of the marriage and both spouses’ income. When it comes to ending temporary alimony payments, the following factors could bring payments to an end:

  • The agreement reaches the expiration date set by the court or the parties involved.
  • The receiving spouse remarries and, therefore, has less need for support from a former spouse.
  • The receiving spouse has not made efforts to become self-sufficient, in which case the judge could terminate the support payments.
  • Children have reached an age at which they no longer need to live with a parent.

The specifics of spousal support vary from state to state, so it is important to understand how New Jersey handles this aspect of divorce. Though permanent alimony is a possibility, it is less commonly awarded and usually only applies in cases where marriages have spanned a significant length of time, resulting in the lesser-earning spouse likely having less ability to become self-sufficient.

Getting the best terms

If you anticipate having to pay alimony to your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you still have the ability to negotiate for what you consider to be a fair outcome. In efforts to better understand your position and available options in this area of your divorce case, you may want to discuss the details with an experienced family law attorney who could assess your specific circumstances.