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Will I still keep my alimony if I move out of state?

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2023 | Divorce

The longer people have stayed married and the bigger the difference in their personal financial circumstances when they separate, the more likely it is for a divorce to result in alimony payments. One spouse who earns more than the other and who has the resources to provide ongoing support can end up paying the other while they become independent.

One spouse either agrees voluntarily to provide financial support for the other spouse following their divorce or separation or they may be subject to an order issued by a judge who reviews the family circumstances and decides that alimony is necessary given the situation. In most cases, an alimony order will last for a set amount of time unless the situation changes.

Those receiving alimony often need the payments to last for as long as possible to improve their financial circumstances after marriage and divorce. If someone moves out of Pennsylvania, will their alimony payments end at that time?

Interstate payments are possible

Pennsylvania has language in its divorce laws that make most family law orders from Pennsylvania enforceable in other states. Although interstate enforcement of alimony and other support orders can be more of a challenge, one spouse relocating does not automatically end the obligation of the other to provide support.

There is an important exception to that rule, however. If the reason that someone moves out of Pennsylvania is to pursue a romantic relationship in another state, then that can potentially impact alimony payments. The spouse making payments can request to end payments when the recipient remarries or when they enter into a new romantic relationship that is similar to marriage. A cohabitation arrangement with a new partner that requires a move out of Pennsylvania could potentially result in a termination of the support order. Simply moving to a new jurisdiction generally will not negatively impact support rights for the recipients of Pennsylvania alimony.

Understanding the rules that determine when alimony payments end may help those who are trying to rebuild their lives after divorce to maximize their resources as they plan for life after the end of their marriage.