How to Stop Permanent Alimony

By Anna Assad

Alimony, a financial award of support from one spouse to another in divorce, may be permanent in some cases. Courts commonly award temporary or rehabilitative alimony; these types of alimony end on a specific date or when the receiving spouse is able to support herself. Permanent alimony, by contrast, has no specific end. Whether a paying spouse can end permanent alimony depends on why the alimony was awarded and what has changed since the original award.

Award Factors

Courts don't typically award permanent alimony; however, these courts will do so if the spouses agree to it, or if they had a prior agreement that called for permanent alimony in the event of a divorce. The court must decide the award amount if the parties didn't set an amount in an agreement. The court considers various factors when deciding a permanent alimony award amount to a divorcing spouse. Contributions to the marriage with regard to a spouse's education or career, the debt and martial asset division, their earning potentials and the marriage length are all considered by a judge. The judge will also look at the age and health of both spouses, as these factors affect financial need and future earning potential.

Change in Circumstances

A change in circumstances of either party may end permanent alimony. However, one party must petition the court to terminate the alimony because of the changed circumstances, and the court must agree the new circumstances warrant an end to the alimony. Acceptable circumstances vary by court and case but usually involve a change the court couldn't anticipate when it awarded the alimony. For example, if the paying spouse suffers a permanent, serious injury that greatly reduces his earning capacity, the court may end the permanent award. If the receiving spouse has a financial windfall and now has a net worth that is substantially more than the net worth of the paying spouse, the court may end the alimony.

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Remarriage or New Relationship

A court may end permanent alimony if the receiving party remarries or enters into a supporting relationship, as determined by the court and state laws. A financially supporting relationship means the recipient spouse has entered a long-term relationship with another person, and they live together and share living expenses. A person paying permanent alimony must petition the court to end the payments based on the ex-spouse's new relationship.

Agreement Terms

If the permanent alimony award was granted by the court because of a prenuptial agreement or an agreement the couple made while married, it's possible to stop the alimony because a condition included in the original agreement has occurred. For example, if a couple included a provision in a prenuptial agreement that stated permanent alimony ends if the receiving spouse earns more than the paying spouse by a specific amount, the paying spouse can petition the court for award termination once the receiving spouse's income reaches that level. The alimony is still considered permanent because there is no guarantee the event will happen.

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How to Calculate Alimony in New Hampshire
 

References

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Alimony Laws in Tennessee

Alimony is a monetary award paid to the financially weaker spouse after a divorce. Tennessee courts can award one of several types of alimony available, based on a number of factors that generally include duration of marriage, age and mental health of the receiving spouse, and education and potential need for training for the receiving spouse. The type of alimony awarded is based on the spouses' circumstances, and the court may award more than one type of alimony, where appropriate. The law also dictates when alimony can be modified, as well as when the obligation to pay terminates.

Alimony Laws in Kentucky

Alimony, called "maintenance" in Kentucky, may be awarded to one spouse during a dissolution of marriage proceeding. Maintenance is awarded regardless of gender and on a permanent or temporary basis, depending on the financial circumstances of each spouse. The basic eligibility requirements to receive alimony are a lack of assets after division of marital property, or an inability to maintain employment with income sufficient to be self-supporting.

Alimony Laws in Kansas

Alimony, also called spousal support, may be awarded during a divorce proceeding in Kansas. Alimony is paid by one spouse to the other when the receiving spouse has neither a sufficient income nor sufficient assets to be self-supporting when the marriage ends. The Kansas Revised Statutes set forth the types of alimony available, duration of payments and when alimony can be modified or terminated.

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