Can You Get Spousal Support/Alimony if You Remarry?
Following a divorce, many people eventually find themselves in a new relationship. If you are a partner who was ordered to pay alimony (spousal support), your new relationship or your potential remarriage is very unlikely to affect your alimony obligations in any manner. However, i f you are receiving alimony from your former spouse, a new relationship could have a major impact on your ability to get alimony going forward . Here, our top-rated Pearland alimony attorneys explain the most important things you need to know about alimony and remarriage in Texas.
Remarriage Automatically Ends Current and Future Alimony Obligations
If you get remarried, your former spouse is no longer required to pay you alimony. Under Texas law , your former partner has the legal authority to halt alimony payments immediately, without filing any notification with a state family law court. Indeed, no additional court order is required, and all current and future alimony obligations are extinguished the moment that the new marriage becomes official.
Remarriage Does Not Remove the Obligation to Pay Past Due Alimony or Lump Sum Alimony
It must be made clear that remarriage does not give a person the legal right to ‘claw back’ past alimony that has already been paid. Quite the contrary, any ‘past due’ alimony must still be paid. For example, if a person is three months behind on their alimony payments, and then their former spouse gets remarried, they are still legally required to make payments to clear up all of the past due alimony payments.
Likewise, lump sum alimony is not affected by remarriage. Once alimony is paid, it is the legal property of the receiving spouse. A remarriage will not change that fact. Remarriage only removes future, ongoing spousal support payment obligations.
Cohabitation Might Be Grounds to End Alimony, But It Is Not Automatic
In Texas, an actual new marriage is not necessarily required to remove alimony obligations. If the partner who is receiving alimony enters into a new ‘supportive relationship’, they may no longer be entitled to receive alimony payments. Generally, a supportive relationship is one that involves romantic cohabitation on a continual basis. In essence, this prevents people from living in a ‘marriage-like’ relationship but avoiding officially tying the knot in order to keep getting alimony payments.
However, cohabitation does not automatically end alimony obligations. A person cannot simply stop paying alimony because they believe that their former partner is cohabitating. Only an actual remarriage is grounds to simply stop paying spousal support. With cohabitation, a person must file a motion to terminate alimony with a Texas family law court and then get that motion approved by a judge.
At the office of John Powell III, P.C. , our Pearland family law attorneys pride ourselves on providing the best legal services to our clients. If you or your former partner is getting remarried, and you have any questions or concerns about alimony, we can help. Please contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation. From our offices in Pearland, we serve family law clients throughout Southeast Texas, including in Houston, League City, and Missouri City.