Are there conditions under which alimony might be forfeited?

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Are there conditions under which alimony might be forfeited?

My ex-wife verbally agreed to stop receiving alimony payments when she was engaged to be married but her engagement ended. Now, 3 years later, as I am preparing to marry she is asking for a lump sum payment in order for her to not pursue back alimony in court. Does her failure to make any attempt to collect for 3 years forfeit her claim to alimony?

Asked on August 28, 2017 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

So your agreement to pay her alimony was part of a divorce settlement agreement correct?  In writing and signed by both of you?  It is considered a contract and generally the terms of that contract can not be changed verbally.  The change must be in writing.  Can she sue for the back alimony?  Yes.  Can you try and raise an affirmative defense like reliance?  Yes you can try but again, the contract laws will govern.  Also, if the agreemnt was part of the Judgement of Divorce (and likely it was) then you could be in violation of a court order as well and that can mean contempt.  Please seek legal counsel in your area.  Good luck.


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