Alimony may often be seen by many in Nashville as a form of financial punishment levied against the party in a divorce that makes the most the money. In reality, it is not that at all. When you have been ordered to provide your ex-spouse with spousal support, that support is only meant to last until the point that the party receiving it is able to afford (on their own) the same standard of living they enjoyed while married. Remarriage is often what ends an alimony obligation. Yet what if your ex-spouse refuses to remarry? Many in this ver situation have come to us here at Rogers, Shea & Spanos asking what recourse might be available to them.
Your ex-spouse may think that by choosing to cohabitate with a new partner rather than remarry, they are taking advantage of a loophole in the law. However, it does require the actual act of remarriage to end your alimony obligation. In cases where you are paying either alimony in futuro or transitional alimony and your ex-spouse chooses to live with another person, Section 36-5-121 of Tennessee’ss Domestic Relations Code states that the court assumes either one that the third party is supporting your ex-spouse or your ex-spouse is supporting them. In either case, it would likely be determined that alimony is no longer needed.
If you submit a petition to the court challenging your ex-spouse’s need for alimony in this scenario and the court rules in your favor, then your ex-spouse could potentially be ordered to repay whatever spousal support payments have been made to them during the time in which they have been in their supportive relationship (the court could also require them to cover your legal fees). More information on dealing with an alimony obligation can be found throughout our site.