Can My Ex Take Me Back To Court For Lifetime Alimony?

Ask a Lawyer


I just finished making payments to my ex for an alimony obligation through the courts, but now she has talked with a lawyer and is taking me back to court for lifetime support.

Can she do this?

Virginia divorce attorney Rebecca DeVincent


Without reading your divorce agreement in full, I cannot tell you for certain whether your wife can file a motion for modification of support and seek permanent alimony.

Each state treats alimony a little differently, so I would encourage you to contact an attorney licensed in your state to review your divorce decree and / or separation agreement to determine what your alimony obligation, if any, may be in the future.

In Virginia, where I practice, there are two types of alimony payments: Temporary, meaning for a fixed period of time, and permanent, meaning for an indefinite period of time.

Judges can also grant a party a reservation of alimony, which means that party can come back to the court within a designated time frame and request a continuation of alimony.

In some states, courts can retain jurisdiction to modify support based on a material change of circumstances.

This means if your ex-wife could show that her income has decreased and / or your income has increased and you have the ability to pay support, the court could modify the alimony payments and require you to continue paying.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney in Virginia, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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