If your divorce included an alimony agreement, the courts considered several factors in setting the amount of your support payments. Because your ex’s financial situation may have changed over time, his or her needs may have also changed.
There are several circumstances in which your former spouse may become ineligible for ongoing alimony.
Improvement in financial status
One common scenario that may render an ex ineligible for alimony is a significant improvement in his or her financial status. If alimony recipients experience a substantial increase in income, whether through career advancements, investments or other means, they may no longer require financial support.
New carriage or cohabitation
Alimony agreements often include clauses addressing an ex’s relationship status. If the recipient spouse remarries or begins cohabitating with a new partner, it may lead to ineligibility for alimony. The assumption is that the financial responsibilities and support from a new partner alleviate the need for continued alimony payments.
Failure to demonstrate need
The basis of alimony is often rooted in financial need. If the spouse receiving alimony fails to demonstrate ongoing financial need, it can jeopardize his or her eligibility. Changes in employment, financial windfalls or improved financial management may be factors that contribute to a diminished need for alimony.
Self-sufficiency and career advancements
If the recipient spouse becomes self-sufficient by completing education or career training, they may no longer be eligible for alimony. When exes show they can support themselves through career advancements or better job opportunities, the court may decide that alimony is not needed.
The decision to retire can also affect alimony eligibility. If the paying spouse retires and experiences a decrease in income, it may lead to a legitimate request for alimony modification. Conversely, if the recipient spouse reaches retirement age and has secured financial stability through pensions, savings or other means, you can request a reevaluation of alimony.
In some cases, both parties may reach a consensual agreement to terminate alimony. If the recipient spouse no longer requires financial support, and both parties agree to modify or terminate the alimony arrangement, it can be legally documented and submitted to the court for approval.
Many situations merit the ending of alimony payments. If any of these changes apply and the date of your alimony agreement is on or after July 1, 1977, you may petition the Georgia courts for revision of support.