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Spousal support changes based upon new partners

Getting divorced can be one of the hardest life experiences that a person may face. As many Houston residents can attest, it is also not just a single-event experience. Many family law issues include ties that bind former spouses for years and changes in circumstances which may affect the original divorce settlement terms. Certainly the involvement of minor children is a common situation which requires ongoing interaction between people after they are divorced.

Many spouses—most frequently men but sometimes women—are ordered to pay spousal support for some period of time following a divorce. The amount of support to be paid and the length for which it should be paid varies greatly. For some cases, if the alimony recipient remarries during the support payment period, the other party is no longer required to make the remaining support payments. A current media article discussed the challenges that can be faced when trying to identify non-marital relationships that may also qualify as reason to terminate further alimony payments.

In some situations, if the paying spouse can prove a truly interdependent relationship between the recipient and a new partner, there may be grounds for a post-divorce modification that results in the cessation of alimony. Determination of who pays for residences and associated maintenance, including utilities, can be part of this process. Proving this social and financial connection may not always be easy and may result in a dispute between the former spouses.

The article indicates that help from a family law attorney and other professionals may be needed. If you have questions about the payment or receipt of alimony related to your divorce, it may be wise to consult with an attorney.

Source: Huffington Post, “He Said/She Said: How to Demonstrate Cohabitation in an Alimony Dispute,” Diane L. Danois, J.D., February 21, 2014

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