How to Stop My Ex from Stopping My Alimony Payments in North Carolina

Many residents in North Carolina receive regular alimony payments, and some might grow very much accustomed to this form of income. It may come as a shock to learn that these payments will eventually come to an end – especially for those who are dependent on their alimony payments to cover their most basic living expenses. Although some alimony ends automatically after a set period of time, other alimony agreements can end due to petitions made by the paying spouses. If your spouse is trying to stop you from continuing to receive your alimony payments, you might be wondering whether there is anything you can do to intervene.

Understanding How Exes Attempt to Stop Alimony Payments in North Carolina

The only acceptable way to end alimony payments before the agreed-upon end date is to establish that there has been a substantial change in circumstance. In other words, spouses must show that something major has changed in their lives that makes the previous agreement no longer valid or reasonable.

For the vast majority of spouses, these changes will need to involve money in some way or another. There are a number of changes that might affect a spouse’s financial situation. These include retirement, disability, a new child, a dependent adult, termination from employment, and many others.

It is important to understand this process if you are trying to stop your spouse from stopping their alimony payments. If you can establish that this “major life change” that they are referencing is invalid, you can continue to receive your alimony payments. If you can establish that the change is not so “major” after all, you can expect a similar result.

Arguing the Validity of Your Spouse’s Retirement

One of the most common reasons people try to stop paying alimony has to do with retirement. If a spouse is approaching retirement or they have recently retired, they may seek to use this life change to justify the early cessation of their alimony payments. It is true that in some cases, North Carolina family courts may allow residents to stop making alimony payments after retirement – namely because these individuals are no longer capable of earning an income.

If you wish to intervene, you may wish to establish that your spouse is still perfectly capable of earning a living. It may also be beneficial to show that your ex has not yet reached normal retirement age. While this is often age 65 or 67 in terms of Social Security definitions, it may be later (or earlier) depending on your ex’s specific profession. Some jobs – such as bookkeeping – are associated with late retirement dates. Early retirement is only justified in a few very niche professions, such as firefighting. Simply put, a spouse cannot simply choose to retire early in an effort to stop paying alimony.

Pushing Back Against Alleged Employment Issues

Spouses may also claim that they need to reduce or end their alimony payments because of career issues – namely termination. If a spouse is fired from their job, however, this does not automatically allow them to stop making alimony payments. There must be a serious shift in their “employability.” For example, the career they have trained to do for their entire life may become obsolete due to shifting demands or rising technology.

Put simply, there is little stopping most spouses from finding a new job after being terminated. Even if a spouse must “recertify” and shift their career, this should be a relatively straightforward process. If you wish to stop your spouse from ceasing alimony on this basis, you need to show that your spouse is still perfectly capable of earning an income.

Contesting the Nature of Your Ex’s Supposed Disability

Finally, you might want to cast doubt on your ex’s disability if they are using this as a way to stop their alimony payments. Perhaps your spouse claims to have suffered a neck injury of some kind that prevents them from any work. However, you might point out that they have an active gym membership – and that they regularly bike around their neighborhood.

Find a Qualified Alimony Lawyer in North Carolina

If you have been searching for an experienced alimony lawyer in North Carolina, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses throughout the Tar Heel State – including those who have encountered issues with alimony. Although your spouse may attempt to end your alimony payments early, you can take steps to prevent this from happening. Book a consultation today to learn more about how to proceed.