You’ve been ordered to pay periodic, rehabilitative, or permanent alimony—and you’re wondering if there’s an end in sight. Even if there’s a set timeframe for your alimony payments to end, terminating them early can be a huge relief for the paying spouse. If your ex-spouse has remarried, you may wonder if you’re still obligated to pay.
We can help you. Learn more about what Alabama says about remarriage and alimony, and to talk more about your spousal support payments, call Coumanis & York at 251-990-3083.
When is Alimony Awarded?
Spousal support isn’t awarded in every Alabama divorce. Generally, the party requesting alimony has to show both that they need it and that they deserve it. For example, a spouse that gave up their career to stay at home as a homemaker and parent may have given up years of career development and growth opportunities.
In the meantime, their spouse may have benefited from their sacrifice in a way that allowed them to build their career up. In this situation, the spouse who stayed at home would likely be entitled to some form of alimony.
The same may also be true if one spouse kept working but cut back on hours or responsibilities in order to support their partner’s career or worked while paying a substantial amount of money to cover their partner’s higher education expenses.
The type of alimony may differ, depending on the circumstances of the marriage and divorce. Rehabilitative alimony is intended to help a spouse for a reasonable period of time to allow them to become self-sufficient. Periodic alimony is for spouses for whom rehabilitation (becoming financially independent) simply isn’t feasible or realistic.
Circumstances That Call for the End of Spousal Support
Under Alabama law, there are specific circumstances that warrant the end of spousal support payments. Alabama Code 30-2-55 specifies that spousal support shall end if the party receiving alimony remarries. However, no alimony already paid will be reimbursed—it is your responsibility to seek an end to the spousal support order.
What About If My Ex is Living with Someone Else?
Several states have laws that state that alimony shall end upon remarriage. This has led some ex-spouses to skirt the laws by cohabiting with a long-term partner but never remarrying, which essentially puts the ex-spouse in the position of funding their ex’s new life with their partner.
Alabama law accounts for this specific situation. The same law that requires alimony to end after remarriage also requires that alimony ends when the receiving party cohabits with a romantic partner.
Proving Cohabitation or Remarriage
This may lead to another question—how do you prove that your ex-spouse is living with another partner or has remarried? To start, proving remarriage is fairly simple. Marriage certificates are filed with the court, and it’s easy enough to get proof of a new marriage.
If your relationship is amicable, they may even tell you directly about their remarriage. If they intentionally obscure it to try to keep spousal support, you may need to go to the court to get proof of their remarriage.
Proving cohabitation is a little bit trickier since there’s no black-and-white proof that a couple is living together. There is, however, circumstantial evidence that can prove your case enough to end spousal support.
If your ex’s new partner has changed their mailing address to your ex’s home, that is solid evidence. You may also want to hire a private investigator who can prove that the ex’s new partner leaves the home each morning and returns there after work each night. If the ex-spouse’s new partner has changed their address with the court, that may also be useful information.
With this information and evidence, you can file a petition with the court to terminate your spousal support payments.
Get the Family Law Help You Need with Coumanis & York
With the right legal support and guidance, your family law needs aren’t nearly as overwhelming. Let’s talk about your spousal support payments and what comes next. Send us a message or call us at 251-990-3083 to set up a time to talk.