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Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31769
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My divorce agreement states that I pay $1000.00 spousal

Customer Question

Hello. My divorce agreement states that I pay $1000.00 spousal support for 10 years or until death or re-marriage occurs. The end date for spousal support is 1/1/2019. My ex-wife has lives with a man and became engaged to a him on 1/26/2015. They have purchased two properties together in the last two years. There is public tax record information supporting this. She also graduated from college in Dec of 2014. They have no wedding date set and my fear is she will not marry until spousal maintenance ends. It would be very easy to prove that the need she had initially no longer exists. Her fiancé is an IT manager and she has never been unemployed.
I would like to know if there is a chance, in MN, under these circumstances, of getting spousal support terminated prior to their marriage taking place.
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

Spousal maintenance awards can be modified pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 518A.39. In order for modification to occur, the court must determine that, based on the statutory criteria, the existing spousal maintenance order is unreasonable and unfair.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has made it clear that “cohabitation, by itself, ‘is insufficient to justify the termination of alimony,’ but that a maintenance recipient’s cohabitation should be considered to the extent that it ‘might improve [the recipient’s] economic well-being.’” Spencer v. Larson quoting Mertens v. Mertens.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Thus, if you can prove to the court that the cohabitation actually provides a financial benefit to the ex-spouse, then you could get the court to reduce or even eliminate your support obligation based on the benefit she's receiving from the co-habitation.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

In order to get this moving, you'd have to file a motion to modify or cancel your support obligation based on the co-habitation and cite in your motion that your ex is benefitting financially from the co-habitation and that you should, therefore, be relieved of your obligation to support her.