Why Was My Spousal Support Terminated?

October 19, 2016

spousal support termination in columbus ohio

You have several legal options for enforcing your spousal support order when checks or direct deposits stop coming. Ohio family courts do not automatically side with the recipient of spousal support payments, however. The person referred to in court documents as the obligor can legally get out his or her obligation to financially support their ex-partner for many reasons. 

Officially terminating a spousal support order in Columbus, Ohio, requires going before a judge, but payments almost always cease before a court ruling is made. When you receive court summons instead of your expected spousal support, be prepared to read about one or more of the following justifications. 

You Remarried 

The overall purpose of spousal support is to allow a divorced man or woman to enjoy the same standard of living while single as they did while married. Terminating spousal support, then, makes logical sense when a recipient—the obligee, in legal jargon—takes a new spouse. 

Your Ex Remarried 

A man or woman has a greater duty to financially support his or her current spouse than to support an ex. Fighting a spousal support termination sought on these grounds can succeed, however, especially when your former spouse has access to significant income and assets. 

You Moved in With a New Partner 

This proceeds for the same logic as remarriage. Living and sharing household expenses with a romantic partner can be viewed by Ohio courts as relieving any financial difficulties created by maintaining a family on one’s own. 

Be aware that when an obligee has not remarried, the obligor must produce evidence of a romantic relationship. Having an adult housemate does not disqualify an obligee from continuing to receive spousal support. 

Your Ex Had a New Child 

A parent’s legal duty to financially support his or her children takes precedence over paying spousal support. When an obligor can prove that taking care of a newborn or newly adopted child makes fulfilling the spousal support arrangement impossible, payments to the ex can be canceled. 

Your Ex Received a Hardship Modification to the Spousal Support Order 

An obligor can produce evidence for being legitimately unable to meet spousal support obligations. Excuses that Ohio family courts may accept for spousal support termination include 

  • Total disability
  • Terminal illness
  • Chronic inability to find employment despite trying
  • Incarceration for a long period 

The Term of Spousal Support Expired 

A majority of spousal support orders issued in Columbus, Ohio, come with termination dates. Family court judges operate under the theory that a man or woman who becomes single after having been married will eventually find work and cultivate other means of financial security that are separate from the money paid by their ex-partner. 

An obligee can file a petition to have spousal support extended past its original term. Grounds for seeking an extension match those for requesting an early termination. 

The Columbus, Ohio divorce attorneys with Edward F. Whipps & Associates welcome questions and cases concerning spousal support. You can schedule a consultation by calling (614) 461-4006 or by reaching out to us online.

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