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Can Spousal Support Be Modified or Terminated After a Texas Divorce?

 Posted on June 13, 2023 in Divorce

Galveston, TX Divorce Lawyer Assisting with Spousal Support CasesGetting a divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, and it will involve numerous issues related to a couple's finances, the property they own, their children, their living situations, and much more. While completing the divorce process can be a relief, there are some issues that may continue to affect ex-spouses after their marriage has been terminated. In some cases, spousal support (alimony) may be ordered, and one party will be required to make ongoing payments to the other. However, circumstances can change in the years following a divorce, and couples will need to understand when alimony payments may be modified or terminated.

When Can Changes Be Made to Spousal Support Orders?

According to the Texas Family Code, spousal support, which is also known as "maintenance," is awarded based on various factors, including the ability of each party to provide for their own needs, the property and financial resources available to each spouse, and their respective levels of education and other factors that may affect their employability. If any significant changes occur in the circumstances of either party after the divorce decree has been finalized, an ex-spouse may file a request to modify or terminate spousal support.

Changes in circumstances that may allow for a modification of spousal support will usually be related to significant life events, such as the loss of a job, a serious medical condition, or an improvement in the financial situation of the spouse receiving support. If an ex-spouse who is required to pay support experiences financial issues that affect their ability to pay, they may submit a request asking for payments to be reduced or terminated altogether. On the other hand, if the receiving spouse experiences problems that could affect their ability to eventually become self-supporting, such as a permanent disability, they may ask for support payments to be extended beyond when they would have been expected to end.

To modify or terminate spousal support, an ex-spouse must file a petition in court, and they will typically need to provide supporting evidence demonstrating that a substantial change of circumstances has taken place. A court hearing will be held where a judge will review the request, consider the evidence provided by both sides, and make a decision about whether to modify or terminate maintenance or maintain the existing alimony arrangements. The modification or termination of spousal support may be retroactive to the date that the petition was filed.

It is also important to note that there are some situations where spousal support may be terminated due to a party's remarriage. If the recipient gets married to a new spouse, the other ex-spouse's obligation to pay any future spousal support will be terminated. Maintenance may also be terminated if the recipient begins to cohabit with a romantic partner on a permanent, continuing basis, although the payor will usually need to file a request to terminate spousal support in these situations. Even if a court order is issued to terminate spousal support, payments that were due before the date of termination must still be paid.

Contact Our Galveston Spousal Support Modification Lawyer

Navigating the complex procedures involved in modifying spousal support payments after a Texas divorce can be challenging. However, with the right legal counsel and a clear understanding of applicable laws and requirements, modifications may be made that will reflect the current circumstances of both parties. If you are looking to make changes to alimony, or if you need to respond to a modification request made by your ex-spouse, Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C. can provide you with legal representation and help you resolve these matters successfully. Contact our Galveston County spousal support attorney at 409-392-1511 to schedule a free consultation.


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