Once a couple has made the ultimate decision to end a marriage, there are likely many questions both parties will have regarding financial considerations going forward. In cases where alimony is ordered to be paid to the supported spouse, those payments typically continue until the point that a major life change such as co-habitation with, or ultimately remarrying another individual occurs.
First, let’s take a look at alimony (also called “spousal support”). These payments occur when one ex-spouse is ordered to pay their ex-spouse a monthly payment. Usually, these payments last either for a certain amount of pre-determined time, or until certain events occur (such as death or remarriage).
In California, once the supported spouse gets remarried, the obligation to pay alimony automatically ends. The minute a new marriage occurs, the paying spouse can stop paying the alimony without returning to court. However in some marital cases, there are stipulations written into the divorce agreement which allow for continued payments of spousal support regardless if the supported spouse becomes remarried or not. If that is the case in your individual divorce proceeding, the paying spouse may not be able to modify or end the alimony.
Another point of consideration when dealing with continued alimony payments to your ex-spouse is in the case of cohabitation with a new partner. If you are paying alimony and the supported spouse lives with another individual, you can work with your ex to either lower, or completely terminate, your spousal payments. If your ex-spouse is amendable to doing so, you can simply sign and file an agreement with your divorce court in order to make it official. However, if your ex-spouse refuses to amicably agree to the lowering or termination of alimony payments, working through the issues with the help of California mediation may become necessary.
If your ex refuses to agree to the lowering or termination of their alimony payments, you will need to file a motion with your local court stating that you wish to modify or terminate the alimony due to your ex-spouse’s new living circumstances. Working with a Riverside mediator, you will need to describe how your ex-spouses living situation has changed and why that warrants a decrease or termination of alimony payments.
Within the State of California, there is an accepted presumption that an ex-spouse’s need for alimony is reduced when the ex-spouse begins living with a new partner. Under this presumption, the Court has the right to lower or terminate the alimony all together unless the supported spouse can provide adequate proof that continued alimony is needed.
Mediation is important and very helpful in cases when alimony is involved, as it allows for both parties to work together to come to a mutual agreement relating to future payments. When marital finances and alimony payments are involved, sometimes both parties find themselves emotional and unwilling to budge on their point of view. By working with a California mediation specialist, each party can discuss their thoughts and feelings on the topic in an environment where fostering open communication is encouraged. With the work of a mediator, it is entirely possible for both parties to come to an agreement relating to alimony payments without having the courts involved.