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When can spousal support be reduced or terminated? 

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2022 | Family Law

When a marriage ends in a divorce, one spouse is often ordered to pay a specified amount of money to the other in the form of spousal support. Also known as alimony, spousal support is meant to help the recipient who does not have an income to ensure that they are able to support themself during and after the divorce process. 

However, spousal support can be terminated or reduced under certain circumstances. Here are three instances when spousal support payments can be reduced or terminated in North Dakota.

Change of circumstances

Life’s circumstances change from time to time. If your financial circumstances have significantly changed because of the loss of your job or something similar, you may petition the court to review and possibly reduce or terminate your spousal support obligation. You can also petition for spousal support review if you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that renders you unable to work. 

Mutual agreement

Spousal support may be temporary or long-term. If the spousal was meant to help the receiving party sustain themself while acquiring skills or finding work, and they have succeeded in their quest, then both parties may mutually agree to terminate the obligation. 

Remarriage or cohabitation

Spousal support can be terminated when the receiving party remarries or enters into cohabitation with a romantic partner. To prove cohabitation, key facts of the case must be reviewed such as whether the relationship in question is long-term, the existence of a common residence, joint contribution to household expenses and similar factors.

Death of either party

Spousal support obligations cannot be inherited. Meaning, should the paying party pass on, their estate cannot be required to continue making alimony payments to the receiving party. By the same token, a payor’s obligation automatically ends when the recipient dies.

Financial support can help the receiving party avoid the hardships that come with the divorce or separation. However, it is important to understand that spousal support can be reduced or terminated if specific circumstances apply to your case.