After a marriage ends, one or both parties will usually move on to a new relationship at some point. According to U.S. News & World Report, the number of second marriages in the country is on the rise. When that happens, someone who is paying ongoing alimony to their ex-spouse may wonder what their ex's new relationship means for their financial future.
If the ex-spouse gets remarried, the obligation to continue paying alimony ends unless an agreement was previously entered into that says otherwise. Payments can simply stop being made after the date of the marriage and there is no need for the parties to return to court. In the event that alimony was paid as a lump sum or in the form of a transfer of property, however, the paying spouse is still obligated to honor that agreement and cannot seek a return or reimbursement of any funds.
If the ex-spouse is living with a new partner but has not gotten remarried, it may be trickier for the paying spouse to argue that his or her obligation to pay alimony should be terminated. Simply moving in with a significant other is not a good enough reason on its own for ending alimony payments. The paying spouse will have to prove that the supported spouse's expenses have been drastically reduced by his or her new living arrangement and that that cohabitation equates to a common-law marriage. Tips for proving cohabitation from The Huffington Post include hiring a private investigator and monitoring social media accounts.
If the paying spouse thinks that their ex's new relationship or living situation is grounds for cessation or reduction in alimony, he or she may make an argument before the court. If alimony is successfully terminated, it is permanently done and cannot be reinstated later.
Tags: Family Law
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