If Your Ex Is Living With A New Partner, Are You Still Required To Pay Alimony?
The answer to this question is probably “maybe.” It often depends on the circumstances. Indiana law requires a significant change in circumstances in order to modify or terminate a maintenance order, especially considering the conditions under which a court may award it.
Here in Indiana, a court may order spousal maintenance (commonly referred to as alimony) under certain circumstances such as the following:
- A spouse becomes permanently disabled during the marriage
- A child’s incapacitation requires a parent to stay home to care for the child without sufficient property or income for support
- A spouse needs up to three years of maintenance to obtain the ability to provide for her or himself through education or vocational training
If the parties negotiate their own divorce settlement, they may address the issue of spousal maintenance in it.
Is Your Maintenance Order Modifiable?
Before you can even consider asking the court to modify or terminate the amount of maintenance you pay, you must first determine whether the court can modify it at all. If the court ordered the payments, then you may go back to the court to request a modification.
If you made an agreement regarding spousal maintenance in a settlement agreement negotiated with your former spouse, you may only be able to seek a modification if your agreement expressly allows it.
Does Cohabitation Substantially Change Your Or Your Ex’s Circumstances?
Cohabitation may be enough to at least modify your payments, if not terminate them, but there is no guarantee. If your ex and his or her new partner move in together, and your ex either shares payment of the household expenses or does not pay any household expenses, it may be a good indication to the court that your ex receives support from another source. However, that may not necessarily release you from your obligation to pay.
Consult With A Lawyer
If you discover that your ex is cohabitating, it may be possible to modify or terminate your spousal maintenance payments. However, it may not be easy. To find out whether it’s possible in your case, contact Robert A. Plantz & Associates, LLC Attorneys and Counselors at Law, to schedule a free initial consultation (excluding landlord-tenant requests) to find out. You can reach us by contacting us online or by phone at 219-561-0263. Our Merrillville office serves clients throughout northwest Indiana.