Can Spousal Support Orders Be Terminated?

13 October 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog


A misconception about spousal support is that it is never terminated. However, many support orders have a termination date. Even if your order does not have a termination date, there is a possibility that you can convince the court you should no longer responsible for paying your spouse support. If you want to terminate your spousal support order, here is what you need to know:

When Is Spousal Support Terminated?

Obviously, the death of either you or your ex would result in a termination of your obligation, but there are many other circumstances in which a judge would agree that you should no longer pay. For instance, if your spouse remarries, your financial obligation for him or her would end.

You could also request a termination of the order if your spouse is living with another person. Even if the judge does not agree that ending the order is the best policy, he or she might be persuaded to reduce the amount of the support.

Your financial situation could have a bearing on if the judge agrees to terminate support. If your income changed and you can no longer pay the support, you could request an end to the obligation. At the very least, the judge could agree to suspend your payments.

There are many other situations in which the support order could be terminated. Talk to your family law attorney to determine if your situation could be eligible for an end to support.

Can You Just Stop Paying?

Some people mistakenly believe that they can simply stop paying the spousal support that is owed. Unfortunately, doing this could land them in trouble. A judge has several actions that he or she could take, including holding you in contempt of court. The charge could lead to a few nights in jail for you.

The best way to handle the situation is to submit a formal request to the court. A modification petition would detail exactly why you feel that the order should be terminated. The court will schedule a hearing and you can present evidence to the judge.

Your evidence needs to be compelling. For instance, if you are claiming that your spouse is cohabitating with another person, you can provide screenshots of posts on social media sites of your ex and his or her new partner that prove they are living together.

Your attorney can help you with collecting evidence and arguing your case in court. Check out a website like for more information and assistance.