Stopping Spousal Support

Divorce is often an enormous milestone for most people.  People often can see it as a watershed moment, and their lives can be measured by what came before the divorce and what came after.  For most people, divorce is one of the most financially difficult events in their lives.  Especially for spouses who have traditionally been a stay at home parent or spouse, divorce means having to embark on a new career and a very different financial situation.  In New Jersey, the financially disadvantaged spouse can request alimony, which is also called spousal support.  Spousal support is designed to help the disadvantaged spouse raise his or her earning capacity or to help maintain a standard of living established over many years of marriage.  Spousal support may have a certain deadline for when it is supposed to end, or it may be termed as “open duration” alimony, meaning it does not have a specific end date.  Either way, after the divorce is over, situations may change and the paying spouse may want to stop paying spousal support.

One common reason that a paying spouse may look into putting a stop to spousal support is the receiving spouse has started cohabitating with a new paramour.  Although many people realize they can request that spousal support be ended when the receiving spouse remarries, not as many realize it can also be appropriate to request a reduction or termination of spousal support if the receiving spouse moves in a with a new paramour but does not get married.  For the paying spouse to successfully win this type of case, he or she would need to prove that the receiving spouse is receiving a monetary benefit from the cohabitation.  In other words, that the new living situation reduces his or her need for spousal support.

Another reason that a spouse may seek to terminate or reduce spousal support is retirement.  In New Jersey, the law presumes that spousal support should end when the paying spouse retires.  However, the paying spouse needs to keep two issues in mind. First, unless the decree specifically provides that spousal support automatically ends, the paying spouse will need to return to court to get permission to stop paying support when he or she retires.  Second, the receiving spouse can produce evidence that rebuts the presumption that the retiring spouse cannot continue to pay support.

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These are just two examples of when it may be appropriate to reduce or eliminate spousal support.  We have extensive experience with helping our clients with these cases no matter the reason for seeking a reduction or elimination. 

Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation

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