Among all the headaches of divorce negotiations, one of the biggest issues can be the matter of paying spousal support. If you were the breadwinner in the marriage, then it’s quite possible you’ll have to provide some amount of alimony for a time to help your ex-spouse stay financially afloat. Before you finalize the agreement though, keep this important lesson in mind — be specific about when the alimony will end.

Vague language will not help you. Stating specific grounds for termination is a must if you want to be absolutely clear about what circumstances will trigger the end of your spousal support. The following are some common factors that can play into grounds for spousal support termination.

Marital status

Spousal support agreements will often state that the alimony will end if the ex-spouse remarries, but it’s important to go one step further. Specify that the payments will end if your ex-spouse even cohabitates with someone and is receiving financial support from them. It could be a roommate or a new significant other. Not everyone is eager to marry again. Maybe your ex-spouse would prefer to live with this new partner, and it’s at that point that you will want the ability to cease paying the spousal support.

Financial situation

Of course, when your ex-spouse gets back on their financial feet and is able to comfortably support themself with a new job, you’ll want to bring the alimony toward an end. But you and your ex-spouse may have widely different ideas about how much income it takes to be truly “back on their feet.” To help your case, get specific about what changes to financial circumstances are cause for a reevaluation of the alimony.

Skilled help with the legal details

Spousal support can be complicated, and the language is doubly difficult. Talk to an experienced attorney who can help craft the strongest language possible regarding termination and modification so that your alimony won’t drag on unnecessarily.