Texas law is crystal clear that spousal maintenance obligations end when the dependent spouse remarries. However, in this day and age, many people just move in together and avoid another trip down the aisle.
Is cohabitation enough to end alimony? Actually, it is. Texas law also states that the obligation to pay spousal maintenance ends when the dependent spouse moves in with a romantic partner “in a permanent place of abode on a continuing basis.” In short, when they start living together as a couple.
What’s the Problem?
Despite the clarity of the law, many people find that getting a support order terminated in these situations is difficult. For one thing, your ex might have moved in with a new partner, but he or she could lie about it. You might only hear second-hand gossip or see on social media that a new person has entered the picture.
In fact, some people receiving maintenance go out of their way to lie about whether they’ve moved in with someone new. They might claim the new man or woman is “just a friend.” Or they might claim to spend only one night a month at this person’s place while continuing to maintain a separate home.
Receiving alimony is very convenient, and many dependent exes don’t want to give it up. There is a definite temptation to keep a new relationship under the rug. If you want to finally terminate your monthly payments, you should contact a Galveston family law attorney for assistance.
How Do You Terminate Alimony?
You’ll need to ask a judge to terminate it by requesting a hearing. You can present evidence to show that your ex has moved in with a new partner and is living there continuously. This evidence can take many forms:
- Testimony from friends or family members
- Your ex’s testimony
- Social media posts
- Leases or deeds that show the two are living together
We can also request information during the runup to the hearing, such as financial documents or bank records. If your ex-wife is making all her credit card charges in San Antonio where her new boyfriend lives, then this is strong proof that she is, in fact, living there on a permanent basis. The same is true if she puts the internet or a utility bill in her name.
Keep Paying Until a Judge Terminates the Order
It might seem crystal clear that your ex has moved in with a lover, but you should still make monthly alimony payments until the judge agrees you can stop. If you just stop on your own, you’ll owe unpaid support, plus interest. A judge might also find you in contempt for refusing to follow the spousal maintenance order. You want to give your ex as little leverage as possible.
We Can Get Alimony Terminated
Contact a League City family law attorney at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson today. We can meet for a consultation and help you strategize what other information you’ll need to make a strong case. Call us today to get started.