How to Stop Paying Spousal Support - A Legal Overview

How to Stop Paying Spousal Support – A Legal Overview

Home Spousal Support How to Stop Paying Spousal Support – A Legal Overview
There are many reasons for wanting to end alimony, but most spousal support agreements feature expiration dates or particular occurrences that will bring the agreement to an end. Until then, they must be continuously monitored. Non-compliance with orders does not sit well with the Alberta courts, and they are adamant about not making modifications that aren’t necessary. However, the courts acknowledge that life’s circumstances may and do change. Even though your spousal support order is still in effect, you may be able to petition the court to have it modified or terminated in certain circumstances. Take a closer look at spousal support and how you might be able to end your agreement.

How Spousal Support Works

When a marriage ends in Alberta, spousal support is financial support granted by one ex-spouse to the other. The payments are meant to compensate the former spouses for any financial differences.  They are intended to assist with the transition to a financially independent, self-sufficient existence within a suitable duration following the termination of a relationship.

How to Terminate Spousal Support Early

While courts in Alberta would not contemplate changing or terminating spousal support for petty reasons, they will usually agree to re-evaluate the issue if there has been a significant, substantive change in circumstances. The simple actions below can help you terminate assistance.
  • Inspect the content of your spousal support agreement: Examine your spousal support order or the separation agreement you signed with your ex-spouse to determine whether it states when the support will terminate or if there is a review date. Most of the time, it will say that support will be terminated if the beneficiary remarries or graduates from college.
  • Determine whether your situation has changed significantly: Assess whether your change in circumstances is material and serious enough for the court to consider your case before proceeding any further. To analyze this, you may require legal advice. After all, you’ll be asking the court to overturn an order that it made after evaluating all of the evidence. It will not be canceled unless you can show the court new evidence that your circumstances have altered so drastically that the current order is no longer valid.
  • Talk to your partner about the circumstance: It’s preferable to talk about the spousal support and come to an amicable arrangement to end it if you and your ex-spouse are on good terms. This can be done in person, with the assistance of legal counsel, or through a mediator. You and your ex-spouse reach an agreement and establish a new spousal support arrangement that the court can ratify.
  • File a court petition to end spousal support: You’ll need to submit a motion to alter with your local family court to start court action to end spousal support. This usually requires a lawyer because you’ll have to demonstrate to the judge why you believe spousal support should be discontinued owing to a significant change in circumstances.


The length of spousal support is influenced by several factors, including the length of the marriage. When you get a financial divorce specialist, they will be able to explain these factors that surround your situation. They will also help you understand your financial options and implications during divorce. If you need financial mediation in Alberta, Alberta Divorce Finances is ready to assist. We’re a divorce financial planner who helps our clients understand their finances. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

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