Alimony, which is sometimes called spousal support, is a payment that one former spouse may be required to make to another after divorce. Alimony orders are intended to help balance any significant economic differences that divorce may cause between spouses.
However, alimony payment amounts are not permanent. Some life changes, such as a new relationship, can affect how much alimony should be paid. If you pay your ex-wife alimony, it is possible that her new relationship could influence how much you are required to pay, but only certain circumstances can trigger this change and you must be able to prove that a change in the alimony order is warranted.
Is your ex-wife living with her new boyfriend?
If your ex-wife remarries, your general term alimony order will terminate. However, you may be able to modify your alimony order before that.
If your ex-wife has been living with her new boyfriend for at least three months, you may request that your general term alimony payments be suspended, reduced or terminated. However, you must offer proof that they have been living together.
When determining if the requirements for cohabitation have been met, a court may consider any relevant factor, which may include:
- Oral or written statements your ex or her boyfriend made to others about their relationship
- How the couple manages their money
- If your ex and her boyfriend are trying to further their life together
- The benefits that the relationship brings each of them
- If the community views them as a couple
Depending on your circumstances and your ex-wife’s circumstances post-divorce, the amount of alimony you are required to pay could change. However, it is important that you continue paying the full amount listed in your current court order and do not begin making smaller payments until a court properly modifies your order.