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Sanchez Farrar PLLC - Lawyer
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Call Us Today for a Free Phone Consultation

Houston, Texas
(713) 364-0170

Austin, Texas
(512) 518-1584

Advocating For You

A court order could end your maintenance obligation

If your former spouse is in a new relationship, you may have cause to celebrate. While this type of event can cause some emotional upset, it could also result in an end to your spousal maintenance obligation.

According to the Texas Family Code Section 8.001, modification of maintenance does not necessarily require that your former spouse remarry.

Termination of maintenance

The portion of the statute regarding termination of maintenance first states that maintenance automatically ends if either spouse dies or the obligee remarries. Your former spouse may be counting on that provision and planning to delay a wedding until the maintenance period is over. However, the second point says that you can request a hearing if you believe your former spouse is cohabiting at a permanent residence with a person he or she has a romantic relationship with.

Conditions of termination

You cannot stop paying maintenance until you have the court order, even if you discover your ex has been cohabiting with someone else for a while already. You also must continue to pay any back payments if you are behind.

On the other hand, if you are not in arrears on your payments and the court has terminated the obligation, your ex must return any overpayment that you made, even if you made it before the termination of the obligation. For example, perhaps the payment automatically deducts from your paycheck each month. If the judge terminates the obligation a few days later, your ex may have to repay you for a portion of that amount.

The key is to follow the court order and the statutes to the letter to keep from making a mistake that will cause problems with the court or with your former spouse.