In some divorce cases, one spouse is ordered to pay spousal support to the other spouse. Spousal support, sometimes known as alimony, is more common after a long-term marriage ends to make sure that a spouse has enough income to meet his or her basic needs and to maintain his or her lifestyle. Alimony terms vary depending on the facts of each divorce case. Payments may be made in one lump sum, monthly for a specified length of time, or ongoing for a lengthy or indefinite amount of time.
Divorce attorney Bruce A. Mandel represents clients in all areas of family law and divorce, including spousal support matters. One of the most frequently raised issues is if and how a new marriage will impact spousal support terms. Spousal support obligations will not typically change if the person paying support gets remarried, but it will likely change if the person receiving support gets remarried.
Remarriage And Spousal Support In General
Several circumstances may stop or reduce spousal support payments, such as a change in financial circumstances for either party, the death of either party, a court-ordered end date for spousal support, and the remarriage of the spouse receiving support.
As a general rule in California, the spousal support payment obligation ends when the receiving spouse gets remarried. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, especially when spouses entered into a divorce agreement with spousal support terms.
Divorce agreements provide for divorce terms negotiated and agreed to by divorcing spouses. These agreements can play a critical role in spousal support obligations, especially when it comes to the remarriage of the receiving spouse.
If the divorce agreement states that spousal support is to continue even if the receiving spouse gets remarried, then the payment obligation does not automatically stop upon remarriage.
Remarriage Impact On Child Support
Child support is completely separate from spousal support, and in general, remarriage alone should not impact child support. Both parents are required to provide for their child, and just because one’s marital status changes, the obligation for both parents to provide for their child does not change.
Other factors may impact child support obligations, but remarriage is not one of those factors.
Modification For Cohabitation
Spousal support awards can be modified based on changes in either party’s circumstances, including the receiving spouse’s cohabitation. When a receiving spouse moves in with a new partner, the providing spouse will often ask for a modification of spousal support.
There is no automatic end to spousal support obligations based on cohabitation, so the issue will have to be heard and decided upon by a judge.
Spousal Support Matters
At the Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel, we know that spousal support matters can be complicated. People’s lives rarely stay the same, and changes may impact your spousal support terms and obligations. We can review the facts of your case, including divorce documents and court orders, to help you determine how a remarriage will impact your spousal support rights.