When people divorce, one spouse may need to pay alimony. People may wonder how long they will need to make these payments.
According to FindLaw, courts award alimony so that people can maintain the standard of living they had during the marriage. Ex-spouses may not always be able to support themselves without assistance if they earn less income. When people pay alimony to their ex-spouse, they may assume that these payments are permanent. However, this is not always the case.
When courts award alimony payments to one spouse, they may include an end date for this support. This end date may be several months or years after the divorce. It usually corresponds to the time when a court estimates that people will be able to support themselves without assistance. However, some divorce decrees may not include a termination date. In this situation, people may need to pay alimony until they receive permission from the court to stop these payments.
According to the North Carolina General Assembly, people can ask a court to reexamine the alimony order. In this situation, a court would review the financial circumstances of both the payer and the recipient. If the recipient is capable of being self-supportive, the court may modify the order to end the payments or establish a termination date.
Sometimes, a court may terminate alimony payments if the recipient begins living with a new romantic partner. This is because the court considers that cohabiting couples are carrying out the same obligations and duties as married couples. Additionally, courts may terminate these payments if the recipient remarries. People may also stop paying alimony if their ex-spouse dies.