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What Happens to Child Support and Spousal Support Orders if the Parties Reconcile?

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2021 | Child Support

What happens to child support and spousal support orders if the parties reconcile after a divorce in San Diego?  What happens to support orders when unmarried couples move in together?

The Certified Family Law Specialists are pleased to report that a number of our clients have reconciled during the process of a divorce case.  We work to support our client’s goals, and that often includes reconciliation.

If there have been child support and/or spousal support orders issued in your case and you reconcile and move back in with your former spouse, children or the mother of your child (If an unmarried father) you need to take specific actions to protect your interests under the law.

Why?  What happens to child support and spousal support orders if the parties reconcile?  If you reconcile and move back in with your ex and are presently under support orders the amount you owe will continue to accrue until a motion is filed with the Court to change the amount of support or terminate it.  Any requested changes to child support or spousal support will only apply to support payments which are due after the date of any filing with the Court.

This is a bit complicated from a Family Law point of view.  California family law actually does have sections which suggest support orders don’t accrue if the parties reconcile or if unmarried parents move in together.  However, the law is very ambiguous and there are several cases each year where one party is arguing “the support is still owed, I just couldn’t get it enforced while we lived together,” and the other party is saying “once we reconciled the amounts due were suspended and are not owed.”  This is followed by time consuming and expensive litigation before the Court.

There is one thing you could do to strengthen your position if there are questions about child support and spousal support orders if the parties reconcile: Simply make a note of the date of the reconciliation and have you and your partner’s signatures notarized.  This at least creates a record of the date you formally reconciled and moved in together.  This is especially true if the recipient retains some other residence.

The only way to amend or terminate support orders is by an order from the Court itself.  The nature of reconciliations is often a pattern of “on again, off again.”  The risk to the payor of child support and/or spousal support is the recipient comes after them in the future for a large sum which “should have been paid, because there never was an actual reconciliation.”

If you have reconciled with a former spouse or moved in with the mother of your child (as in the case of an unmarried father who has child support orders) you need to take prudent action and speak with one of our Certified Family Law Specialists immediately.

Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.

We are very happy to hear of your reconciliation!