Hoover Krepelka, LLP - Lawyer

Board Certified Family Law Specialists Serving Northern California

What impact does cohabitation have on spousal support payments?

It's not uncommon for divorced spouses to decide to get back in the dating game again in the months and years after their marriage comes to an end. While those couples may not be at the point where they're interested in walking back down the aisle once again, they may desire to share a home with their significant other. What many don't know is that doing so can impact the amount of alimony that they receive.

The impact that cohabitation has on the amount of spousal support that a recipient gets varies by jurisdiction. In some states, if your ex-husband or wife begins living with their romantic interest, then you may petition a judge to completely withdrawal all alimony from them. In other states, this may be a valid reason for a reduction in their payments. In other ones, the amount that a spouse receives may not be affected at all.

It's important to remember that if you two were divorced in one state and you two live in different ones, then more than one place's cohabitation laws may apply in determining alimony awards.

In states that allow for a reduction or termination of alimony, a judge may be precluded from ordering a modification unless they're able to prove that their ex's need for it has diminished significantly. Even if they can prove that they no longer need their support in some jurisdictions, state law may leave them with little recourse to put an end to it.

Paying spouses are often surprised to learn that in some jurisdictions, their obligation to pay alimony may not end even when their ex gets remarried. Whether they'll have to continue to pay after that occurs depends on whether a judge originally ordered the payments to be temporary or permanent.

Spousal support isn't intended to punish the husband or wife who is ordered to pay it, but instead to help the recipient spouse be able to bridge the gap so that they can get back on their feet financially once again. Your San Jose attorney may advise you of the various grounds on which you may petition a judge to reduce or terminate your obligation to pay alimony after analyzing your case.

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