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Can You Stop Spousal Support if Your Ex Cohabitates or Remarries

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2019 | Spousal Support

Can you stop spousal support if your ex cohabitates or remarries in the future?  What do you need to know about spousal support today to prevent issues down the road?

During the process of a divorce it is quite common for the income of one spouse to be substantially less than the other.  One spouse may have left the workforce years ago to have and raise children or to support the other.  Re-entry into the workforce after years of absence would present challenges for any wage earner.

The Family Law Courts in Carlsbad work to ensure the playing field is evened financially, and spousal support is often awarded to the lesser wage earner.  The length of your marriage will have a substantial impact on the duration of spousal support.  If your marriage lasted longer than 10 years, it is likely spousal support could continue well into the future.

We are often asked what happens if the spouse you’re paying spousal support to moves in with someone or gets married.  Can you stop spousal support if your ex cohabitates or remarries at some point down the road?

You shouldn’t stop paying spousal support in any case without orders from the Court.  You may seek modification to spousal support when there has been a substantial change in the Status Quo.  The original orders will carry substantial weight in these cases.  Many DIY divorces do not have the important legal clauses and protections in the paperwork they have created.  This comes back to haunt them down the road when they learn the downloaded forms or divorce service paperwork does not adequately specify the end of spousal support.

Most people would assume you can stop spousal support if your ex cohabitates or remarries in the future.  This is simply not the case.  If your ex moves in with another person you can make a legal argument the new couple will share income and your support should stop.  Unfortunately, under California spousal support law you may still be required to continue spousal support.

Surely if the ex remarries you shouldn’t have to keep paying spousal support, should you?  It is much more likely spousal support would end in these cases but it is not absolute.  Your ex may challenge the need to stop spousal support payments and ask for the Court to continue them or simply reduce them.

The legal challenges in these cases can be quite complex.  This is why it is important to work with the skilled Family Law Certified Specialists at Burke & Domercq.  We work to make sure initial divorce decrees protect our client’s long term interests and anticipated situations such as those identified above.  We represent those who are seeking an end to or modification of existing spousal support.  Contact Burke & Domercq or call 760-389-3927 to learn more about the unique aspects of your case and to schedule an appointment.