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How Does Remarriage Affect Alimony?


When two spouses get a divorce, one party is often ordered to pay alimony to the other. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is meant to help one individual support themselves financially after a divorce. Judges can order one party to pay permanent alimony, although temporary spousal support is much more common. Even when a judge orders permanent alimony, there are times when spousal support can be terminated entirely, and remarriage is one of these instances. Below, our Orlando spousal support lawyer explains how remarriage impacts alimony.

How Remarriage Affects Periodic Alimony

Periodic alimony refers to the type of arrangement most people think of when they think of spousal support. These payments are for a certain amount and they are paid monthly. When the recipient of these payments remarries, periodic alimony is automatically terminated. The payer can stop making payments without obtaining approval from the court first.

How Remarriage Affects Lump Sum Alimony

Judges do not only award periodic alimony. During divorce proceedings, a judge can also order one spouse to pay the other a lump sum of spousal support. In these cases, the lump sum is usually paid shortly after the divorce is considered final. This is in fact, one of the benefits because those paying it do not have any future legal obligations to their former spouse. However, remarriage will rarely affect lump sum spousal support. When it has already been paid, there is little that can be done and the recipient is not expected to repay any portion of the support.

How Cohabitation Affects Alimony

When a recipient of spousal support remarries, the courts will terminate the order because the individual no longer has to financially support themselves. They have a new romantic partner who can help support the household with them. This holds true when a person starts cohabitating with someone, as well. Cohabitation can provide ground to terminate an alimony order, but the recipient must be receiving financial support from the person they are cohabitating with. This generally means they must be in a romantic relationship with them. Living with another family member or a roommate is not enough to terminate alimony.

Only a Legal Marriage Can Automatically Terminate Spousal Support Obligations

It is important to note that while many of the above scenarios can terminate a person’s alimony obligations, only a legal remarriage can do so automatically. Even if a recipient starts living with another romantic partner, the payer of spousal support must petition the court to modify or terminate the spousal support order.

Our Spousal Support Lawyers in Orlando Can Help with Your Case

Whether you are paying alimony or are receiving it and are considering remarriage, our Orlando spousal support lawyers at Anderson & Ferrin, P.A. can advise on your case and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at 407-412-7041 or reach out to us online to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys and to learn more about how we can help with your case.


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