Remarriage, cohabitation and terminating spousal maintenance in Texas
New relationships and marriages can affect your right to continue receiving spousal maintenance, also called alimony, in Texas. The purpose for spousal maintenance is to provide periodic payments from the future income of one spouse for the support of the other spouse.
New relationships and marriages can affect your right to continue receiving spousal maintenance, also called alimony, in Texas. The purpose for spousal maintenance is to provide periodic payments from the future income of one spouse for the support of the other spouse. In the divorce action, the spouse seeking spousal alimony from the other spouse must establish their eligibility for spousal maintenance as required by the Texas Family Code. The general eligibility requirements for spousal maintenance are available on our website page titled
Alimony. Eligible spouses may receive an order of spousal maintenance by the court to support them for a fixed duration of time, in a lump sum settlement or otherwise so long as they are unable to support themselves consistent with their reasonable needs.
A remarriage automatically terminates the right to continue receiving spousal maintenance.
The very moment the new couple says, “I do,” the prior spouse ordered to pay spousal maintenance no longer has an ordered duty to make any further spousal maintenance payments. Nothing need be filed with the court and there is no court appearance necessary to terminate maintenance when a receiving spouse remarries. There may be documentation prepared to make a record of the new marriage and maintenance obligation termination, but the payments may stop immediately.
If however, the spouse ordered to pay maintenance to the other is behind on payments, they still have an obligation to make all those payments that were properly due and payable, prior to the remarriage of the former spouse. Also, if a court orders a lump sum payment or a transfer of property or land to satisfy a spousal maintenance obligation, the terms of that court ordered payment must be performed despite the remarriage.
Spousal maintenance can be terminated by the court when the receiving spouse cohabits with another.
When a couple in a relationship live together, share a residence, household expenses, utilities, and so on, the obligation to continue paying spousal maintenance to a former spouse can be terminated. The spouse seeking to terminate spousal maintenance must prove to the court that the former spouse receiving spousal maintenance is living together with another, as a couple. The court will hold an evidentiary hearing and make a finding that the spouse receiving spousal maintenance, “cohabits with another person with whom the obligee has a dating or romantic relationship in a permanent place of abode on a continuing basis.
In the event of the death of either former spouse paying or receiving spousal support, the duty to may maintenance is terminated by the death.
Child support payments are not directly affected by the remarriage or cohabitation of a former spouse receiving child support payments.
If you have questions about spousal maintenance, remarriage, cohabitation or any related topic, please call Scroggins Family Law.
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Mark Scroggins, along with their team at
Scroggins Family Law represent clients in a variety of divorce and family law matters.
At Scroggins Family Law, our Dallas, Denton and Collin County divorce attorneys have more than over 24 years of collective experience with family law cases. When you retain our firm, you can trust that your case is in the hands of a highly skilled, dedicated professional. we understand the unique challenges of a high value divorce case, and more importantly, have the knowledge and experience you need on your side. Call us today, (214) 469-3100, to learn more about Texas divorce and family law.
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