Alimony is one of the most confusing aspects of life after marriage. Many people are unaware of their state's laws about spousal support or alimony. It does not help that the parameters for one to receive spousal support can vary from case to case, and the amount also varies.
So, what happens if you are paying alimony and see that your ex has remarried? Do you still have to pay support? Here's what you need to know.
The Goal of Spousal Support
First, it is helpful to understand the goal of spousal support. Spousal support is used to help fill a significant income gap between two spouses when a couple divorces. For example, your spouse may have been a stay-at-home parent who did not work full-time so that they could care for a child.
So, the judge who presided over your divorce may have determined that your partner was eligible to receive support after divorce, but they may have decided to remarry before the spousal support period was over.
You Can Move to Terminate or Modify Support
Depending on your state, if the spouse receiving support chooses to remarry, support does not automatically stop. You may still have to make your payments to avoid facing penalties or charges, so a marriage does not necessarily completely negate your requirement to pay.
In order to stop paying support, you might need to take your case back to court. There, you can move to modify or terminate support payments. Your family law attorney will help you file this movement so that you can bring forward all the evidence required to show that your spouse has married. You must also show there are no stipulations in your order to pay even after remarriage.
What About Cohabitation?
In cases where a supported spouse moves in with a romantic partner but does not marry, things get more complicated. In fact, it can be more difficult to prove that your ex-spouse is living with this person, which is why bringing an attorney into your case is so important.
This matter can become tricky when you struggle to prove your ex-partner is living with another person, even if your order allows you to stop making payments due to cohabitation. An attorney can help you understand your legal options in these cases.
Contact a Family Law Attorney
A family law attorney can help you with your next steps. If you suspect that your ex has remarried and you should no longer have to pay spousal support, it is important that you discuss your plans with an attorney.
Contact a family law attorney for more information.
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