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Will My Spousal Support End if I Get Remarried?

In California, when a couple gets a divorce, one of the spouses will often receive financial support from the other one. The legal term for this financial arrangement is called "alimony" or "spousal support."

How Long Does Spousal Support Last?

Sometimes alimony is paid all at once at the time of the divorce, and other times it is paid in monthly deposits, or both options occur. Typically, spousal support is short term until the receiving spouse becomes financially secure. However, depending on the length of the marriage, the support can be indefinite.

The assumption is that the spouse who is receiving the financial support is managing to survive on his or her own, but that they need assistance from the other spouse to maintain a lifestyle that they were accustomed to when they were a couple. If the marital status of the receiving spouse changes, it is, understandably, assumed that their financial situation would change as well.

At this point, the courts will have to intervene to decide whether any further spousal support should continue. In California, the law is clear: if an individual, who is receiving alimony, chooses to remarry, he or she can no longer collect spousal support. While the providing spouse is at liberty to continue making support payments, there is certainly no obligation to do so.

A Grey Area

There is a fuzzy line when the receiving spouse begins to cohabitate with someone else but does not officially get married. The receiving spouse may be sharing income and living expenses with their new partner, but there is not a legally established relationship. In this scenario, California law does not enforce the termination of spousal support, but the courts will entertain cases where the paying spouse believes a modification needs to take place. California law does consider that spousal financial assistance can be reduced or eliminated if a former spouse is now living with a new partner.

You Must Provide Proof

It is incumbent upon the paying spouse to provide evidence or documentation that proves the receiving spouse is no longer entitled to alimony. You will be required to illustrate how your ex-spouse's economic situation has changed due to their new living circumstances.

Whether you are the paying spouse who wants to terminate support or the receiving spouse who believes that support is being withdrawn unjustly, you need to understand your rights and legal responsibilities. A California spousal support attorney will help you understand the nuances of your case and save you time, stress, and additional heartache.

Call the Law Office of Michael R. Young today at (909) 315-4588 if you have any questions about modifying your spousal support plan.