When Can Spousal Support in Virginia End?
While most individuals think of spousal support as monthly payments from one ex-spouse to another for the foreseeable future, alimony can be much more nuanced and customized to the situation. Spousal support can be paid in a lump sum following a divorce or it can be provided in periodic payments. Sometimes spousal support is ordered for an indefinite duration while in other cases alimony is ordered or agreed upon for a specific number of years, in which case it ends automatically. However, no matter what the court order states, there are ways your spousal support obligation can end early.
Under Virginia law §20-109, if you can prove through clear and convincing evidence that your ex-spouse, who receives spousal support , has been living with another person in a romantic relationship, analogous to a marriage, for one year or more, then the court will end your support obligation. However, there are two exceptions to this. The court will not terminate your support if you signed a contract that stipulated your obligation would not end in this scenario and the court will not end support if it would be unconscionable.
If your ex-spouse gets remarried, your obligation to pay support ends. While your ex is required to notify you of his or her marriage, this does not always happen. If you find you have paid support since the date your ex remarried, you may need to return to court to have the Court determine if this amount reimbursed to you.
A Change in Circumstances
If your or your ex-spouse’s circumstances have significantly changed since spousal support was determined by the court, then you can return to court as ask for your obligation to be modified or terminated if the spousal support was deemed modifiable. For example, if your ex now has a significantly higher income, you may be able to show that he or she does not need to depend on the alimony to maintain his or her standard of living.
If you want to ask the court to change your spousal support duty, you should work with an experienced Leesburg divorce attorney right away. Not all alterations in income will be considered a material change in circumstances, and the change must be one that was not contemplated by the parties or courts when the award was decided. Additionally, you may be able to obtain a termination of your obligation if you can show the court that an event that was anticipated and a major factor in awarding support never actually occurred.
Unless stated otherwise in a valid contract between you and your ex-spouse, all spousal support obligations end when you or your ex pass away.
Contact Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC for Help
If you believe you should not have to keep making spousal support payments or you can no longer afford your duty, contact the experienced Leesburg spousal support and alimony attorneys of Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC to learn how you can seek termination of this obligation. Whether it is a clear-cut case of your ex-spouse re-marrying or cohabitating or there has been a significant change in your circumstances, we can guide you through the process of returning to court.