As a general rule, spousal support terminates when the party receiving the support remarries. Most divorce decrees with a spousal support order specifically provide for the termination of spousal support upon the remarriage or death of the party receiving the spousal support. However, parties in a divorce are free to agree that spousal support does NOT terminate upon the remarriage of the party receiving the spousal support. In the absence of a written agreement that was approved by the court as part of a divorce decree, remarriage will end spousal support obligations. There is no need for the court to take any action to terminate the spousal support obligation in this type of situation. If, however, the remarriage is later annulled, or declared legally void, then the divorce court does have the right to revisit the alimony issue; theoretically, the court could order the ex-spouse who previously paid spousal support to again pay spousal support.
Unlike remarriage, cohabitation of the party receiving the spousal support does not automatically terminate the payments. California law creates a rebuttable presumption of a decreased need for spousal support if the party receiving the support is cohabitating with a non-marital partner. The California legislature modified this law in recent years to include same-sex non-marital relationships along with opposite-sex non-marital relationships. If the court determines that circumstances have changed due to the party’s cohabitation, then the court can modify or terminate the previously ordered spousal support obligation. However, it is important to note that the court’s decision to modify or terminate the spousal support obligation will in no way take the new spouse’s income, assets, or overall finances into consideration.
The California divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates are knowledgeable about all aspects of California divorce cases, no matter what issues they may involve. We know how to advance your position on all relevant issue and work toward a satisfactory resolution of your case. Contact us by filling out our online form or call us at 1-888-888-6582 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Los Angeles divorce lawyers today.