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What Happens when an Alimony Order Ends?


Permanent alimony is far less common than it was in the past. Today, most alimony orders are created to last for a specific period of time, either to help rectify the income disparities between a couple for a specific number of years after their divorce or to help cover the lesser earning spouse’s educational expenses as he or she prepares to enter the workforce and become self-sustaining.

These alimony orders do not last forever. If a recipient is not adequately prepared to cover his or her own expenses when an alimony order ends, he or she can quickly face financial hardship. 

Reasons Why Alimony Orders End

Many alimony orders end because they simply reach the end of their durations as set by the recipients’ divorce orders. Sometimes, though, these and even permanent alimony orders can be automatically cut short by specific events. These events are:

  • The paying spouse or recipient’s death; and
  • The recipient’s cohabitation with a new partner or remarriage.

Modifying your Alimony Order

An alimony order can also be cut short through a petition for modification on either party’s part due to a significant change in financial circumstances, like the recipient winning the lottery or the paying spouse suffering an injury that forces him or her out of the workforce.

A recipient in need can also modify his or her alimony order to extend its duration. Like with all other modifications, the recipient must provide the court with evidence to support his or her need for a change. Reasons why the court may approve an alimony modification petition include:

  • The recipient suffering an injury that makes it impossible for him or her to work;
  • The recipient being unable to complete his or her schooling, either temporarily or permanently, due to circumstances beyond his or her control; and
  • The recipient loses his or her job due to an involuntary layoff or another reason beyond his or her control.

In most cases, the court tends to approve modification requests when the circumstances behind them are not within the individual’s control and deny requests based on problems he or she can control, like voluntarily leaving a job.

Life After Alimony Ends

Today, non-permanent alimony orders are common because most adults of both sexes can reasonably be expected to join the workforce and support themselves financially. Unless there is a substantial change in your circumstances that makes it absolutely necessary that you extend your alimony order, you will simply need to support yourself after your alimony order ends.

Ideally, you completed a degree or vocational training while you received alimony payments. Now, it is time to use the training or education you received to launch a career of your own. 

Work with an Experienced Orlando Divorce Lawyer

For legal advice and guidance as you adjust to life with an alimony order, work with an experienced Orlando divorce lawyer. Your lawyer can help you seek a modification when necessary and enforce your order if your former spouse becomes delinquent. To get started with our firm, contact the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. today to set up your initial legal consultation.



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