Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is not something anyone likes to talk about. These payments are often required for the short- or long-term after the end of a marriage. If you pay alimony to your former spouse, you may wonder what happens if the person you are paying ends up living with someone else. At The Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, we want to discuss this issue. Our Simi Valley divorce attorneys understand all aspects of family law and are ready to help you get through these issues.
What can happen in this case?
You may have been ordered to pay spousal maintenance (alimony) at the conclusion of a divorce proceeding. There are various types of alimony payments that can be ordered by the court, including long-term alimony. In many cases, this is seen as permanent, but that is not necessarily the case. The obligation to pay spousal maintenance ends when the spouse receiving the payments remarries, regardless of the financial situation of their new spouse. There is a chance that these payments could be reinstated if their new marriage is annulled, but those decisions are up to the family court system in California.
If a spouse made a limp sum or property transfer payment at the time of the divorce to cover alimony instead of payments, then a spouse’s remarriage will have no effect on the payment. In these cases, there is no payment to stop, and the paying spouse will not receive any of the money back.
If your former spouse is cohabitating with another person
There are times when a former spouse receiving alimony payments moves in with someone else but does not get married. If the receiving spouse is cohabitating with a person of the opposite sex, or with someone they are in a relationship with, their alimony could be reduced or even terminated.
In these cases, the paying spouse will need to file a motion with the court to have the payments modified or stopped. The court will not look at the income of the person the receiving spouse is living with. They will only consider the receiving spouse’s current financial circumstances (which may be improved by their new living situation).
Spousal maintenance will not necessarily stop, particularly if the receiving spouse is in a typical “roommate” situation with someone else. Proving there is a romantic relationship between the receiving spouse and the person they are now living with could be difficult, but necessary, to modify or cease payments.
What you can do now to help your case
If you have been through a divorce, you should not have to worry about going back to court. Unfortunately, there may be a time when you discover your former spouse is taking advantage of you. At The Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, we are here to help. If you discover your ex may be living with someone else and you are making alimony payments, we want to investigate. When you need a Simi Valley divorce attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling 818-237-4574.