Alimony payments are one of the most contentious parts of the divorce process. When they are ordered, they are paid monthly to the spouse of lesser means from the spouse who is better off. Each situation is different, and there are various forms of alimony. Not all alimony is permanent, but when it is, there are some limitations placed on the receiving spouse. These limitations have to do with the receiving spouse’s remarriage or cohabitation. At the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi, our Thousand Oaks alimony attorneys want to talk about how this works and what you can do if your spouse remarried or is living with someone else.
The obligation to pay alimony ends as soon as the receiving spouse remarries, regardless of how the marriage changes their financial situation. However, there is a possibility that the alimony could be reinstated if the spouse’s remarriage is annulled. The family court system will have to make that decision based on what is fair for both parties.
What if alimony was paid in a lump sum or property transfer at the time the divorce was finalized?
In this case, the spouse’s remarriage will not affect the alimony, since there is no payment to stop. The paying spouse cannot receive any of the lump sum or property back in this case.
If the receiving spouse is cohabitating with a person of the opposite sex, or someone they are in a relationship with, alimony could be reduced or terminated. The paying spouse will have to file a motion with the court in order to modify or cease the alimony payments. The court will not, however, look at the income of the person that the receiving spouse is living with. They will only look at the receiving spouse’s current financial circumstances.
This situation does not usually apply to a “typical roommate” situation. This implies that there is a romantic relationship between the receiving spouse and the person they are living with.
It is important for a paying spouse to never make changes to alimony payments without going through the court system. Without filing a petition and having it approved by the court, the paying spouse could find themselves in serious trouble and owing much more than they were already paying.
If you are paying permanent alimony payments to a former spouse who is living with someone or getting remarried, you need to know your obligations. At the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi, we are ready to help if you need to petition the court for a modification or cessation of spousal maintenance payments. You deserve to be treated fairly. When you need a Thousand Oaks alimony attorney, you can contact us for a consultation by calling at 805-379-4550.