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Gregory S. Johnson, Attorney at Law
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Determining when alimony can truly end

Some people have likely heard the term "final alimony" and believe it to mean when a person makes a final alimony payment to an ex-spouse. In reality, when final alimony is discussed, it actually means the final calculated alimony payment one spouse must make to another after a divorce is finalized and does not actually mean the last alimony a person pays. So when does a person in Louisiana truly stop paying alimony? The answer can vary.

When alimony is awarded to a former spouse that has a low paying job or is unemployed, it is done for the purpose of assisting the spouse until the spouse is able to become self-sustaining. According to Findlaw, during this period, the spouse who receives alimony may undergo training to acquire the skills necessary for a new job. But even if the spouse successfully finds a higher paying job, it is still up to the courts to determine if the alimony payments cease.

In many cases, remarriage can terminate the need for further alimony payments. While remarriage does not automatically terminate alimony in all cases, if the spouse receiving alimony marries a new spouse, many courts will determine that the recipient spouse has adequate financial support from the new marriage and does not need further alimony payments.

However, the spouse who receives alimony does not have to be actually married for that person to forfeit alimony. According to the Huffington Post, if a recipient spouse is not married to another person but is engaged in a relationship with another person that resembles a marriage, an alimony payer has grounds to try and terminate further alimony. This relationship can involve a person living with the former spouse and performing duties like household chores that a husband or wife would ordinarily take on.

In such an instance where a marriage-like situation is taking place, a court may evaluate the recipient spouse's financial status and determine if that spouse's new relationship means that spouse is now sustainable enough not to require alimony payments. Even if a judge does not terminate the alimony, a marriage-like relationship may be enough to reduce the required alimony.

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