In Texas, the law authorizes courts to require one spouse to provide financial
support, known as spousal support, to the other after a divorce. However,
if the spouse receiving the spousal support begins living with someone
else or remarries, the paying spouse may be able to stop making payments.
This post explains how cohabitation and remarriage of a supported spouse
impacts spousal support under Texas law.
Spousal Support vs. Alimony
While courts can order spousal support in only limited circumstances, divorcing
spouses can agree to contractual alimony payments. The provisions for
changing or terminating alimony can be very different from those for court-ordered
Texas courts only allocate spousal support in the following circumstances, if then:
- Marriage lasted 10 years or longer
- The paying spouse has committed an act of violence against the other spouse
or a child within two years of the divorce
- One spouse is disabled or must provide care for a disabled child and can’t work
The amount and duration of spousal support depends on several factors,
- Length of marriage
- Education and employment skills of each spouse
- Age and health of each spouse
- Job history and earning potential of each spouse
- Each spouse’s ability to survive independently
How Cohabitation Affects Spousal Support
Cohabitation is defined by Texas law as two people who are romantically
involved with one another and live together on a regular basis. The order
for spousal support will typically state that it ends if the receiving
If you discover your supported spouse is cohabitating with another person,
don’t stop making payments. You must gather any evidence relating
to the cohabitation of your supported spouse, then file a motion to terminate
spousal support. Examples of evidence includes proof of a joint lease or
mortgage, photos, mail received at the residence, and other personal items.
How Remarriage Affects Spousal Support
The paying spouse’s requirement to pay spousal support ends when
the supported spouse remarries, without the need to return to court for
an additional order. Keep in mind that if you owe past due alimony, even
if your ex-spouse remarries, you are obligated to fulfill those payments.
Should you have any questions about the issues above and how they relate
to your particular divorce, contact our experienced legal team at CokerLegal.