If the court orders you to pay alimony to your spouse in Texas, the first thing you may think is: How long do I have to do this? There are a few different ways in which alimony or spousal support can be terminated.

A Predetermined End Date

First of all, the court may simply put an end date on the payments right up front. For instance, you could be ordered to pay for just a year, to let your spouse find a job. It ends automatically when that time comes.

A Marriage

In many cases, if your spouse marries someone else, the payments also come to an end. The idea is for these payments to support your spouse while he or she is alone, perhaps without a job or any form of income. Marrying someone else presumably gives your spouse access to at least some income, so payments could end.

A Court Order

In other cases, the court may simply order an end to the payments, even if no end date was set up at the beginning. For example, if your spouse goes out and gets a good job, the court may then declare that support from you is no longer needed.

Your Death

Your own death may bring about an end to alimony, but it’s actually important to note that this doesn’t happen in all cases. Sometimes, the court uses life insurance or the value of your estate to keep the payments going, even if you pass away.

If you’ve been ordered to pay support or you’re going through a divorce, make sure you know exactly how the process works.

Source: FIndLaw, “Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics,” accessed Oct. 23, 2015