Contempt for not continuing alimony


I am being charged with contempt by my ex for not continuing to pay alimony. We have a sep agreement stating that payment will stop if she remarries. That sep agreement was incorporated into our divorce decree. We also have a court order which resulted as an agreed upon motion to modify that changed the balance of what was being designated as child support to become designated as alimony (both kids were over 18 and not students). As a concession I allowed the verbiage “alimony to stop if she remarries” to be deleted from the text in the motion to modify at her request. So it no longer states that but instead says nothing. She thought that would allow her to remarry and to continue to be paid alimony. So when she remarried, I notified her I would be stopping alimony payments due to her being remarried. She did not know that the law states that it must be specifically stated that “alimony will continue even if remarried”. If I go just go to court Pro Se and state this to the judge, what are my chances of it holding up in court that I no longer have to pay her alimony? Thanks.


If the Order allows for alimony to continue beyond remarriage, the judge will likely enforce the payments, but I cannot predict what effect your argument may have on the judge, or what an ultimate decision would be.


The order which is a modification of the original sep agreement / div decree, now says nothing about what would happen regarding alimony if she were to remarry. Would it not refer back to the law (which says it must be stated specifically) regarding termination of alimony if the document say nothing?


You certainly have an argument based on the law, however the omission of the terminating factors may cause the judge to determine it was not the intent of the parties to allow for a termination based on remarriage.


I have been advised that the motion to modify now being a court order is to be interpreted by the four corners of the document only (what it says or does not say) and that “intent” is no longer a part of the decision. I know that is a bit shakey but just wondering how safe it would be to push that line of thinking. I have much more to discuss should “intent” become part of the discussion. Such as me being in an accident and being permanently paralyzed 5 months after sep and asking for no change in payment. Also continued to pay child support for extended period even when both kids were over 18, not students, and not living with her. Sometimes generousity will get you nowhere.