Can alimony be terminated or modified if my former spouse is in a live-in, supportive relationship with her boyfriend?
The divorce decree is open for modification.
In most states, alimony is always terminated when the former spouse remarries; however, termination or modification when the former spouse is cohabiting with a boyfriend or girlfriend is not as straightforward.
In Missouri, a modification of alimony is only granted upon a showing of continuing and substantial changed circumstance that makes the alimony award unreasonable.
If your former spouse has fewer expenses now because she is now cohabiting with her boyfriend and sharing rent, utilities, groceries, insurance, etc., it may be a reason to modify the alimony award.
You will likely have to show that they have been cohabiting for a substantial amount of time, and/or show other reasoning for the court to accept that this is a continuing change.
There may also be other reasons, such as a decrease in your income, an increase in your former spouse’s income or the passage of time without your former spouse making efforts to become self-supporting that would help in your argument for modifying alimony.
It is important that you consult a local family law attorney in order for you to discuss the specific facts in your case, which may weaken or strengthen your case to modify or terminate alimony.
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.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”