Do I Have to Pay Alimony if My Ex is Living with Someone?
You may have discovered that your ex is now living (or cohabitating) with another man or woman, whatever the case may be. But before you run off to the nearest Placer County family court to cut off alimony to your ex-spouse, you need to be aware of some of the rules governing alimony. The truth is, just because your ex is now living with someone else, you are not off the hook just yet. And in most cases, the former spouse will fight any type of modification of alimony. In these circumstances, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney who specializes in California family law and can answer your questions for your specific situations.
Rebuttable Presumption of Decreased Need
For example, California views that the recipient’s need for support has been reduced once he or she starts cohabiting. It is important to understand that there can be various reasons why your ex is now living with someone. One of the top reasons for cohabitation is the rising costs of rent in California and that it has one of the highest rental prices in the country. This is a consideration and a possible defense for cohabitation.
Except as otherwise agreed to by the parties in writing, there is a rebuttable presumption, affecting the burden of proof, of decreased need for spousal support if the supported party is cohabiting with a nonmarital partner.California Family Code 4323
In the end, the judge in the family court will make a decision based on current law. In the state of California, the law states that alimony will be paid until the spouse receiving alimony gets married or until a pre-determined timeframe. Cohabitation may or may not affect alimony if the spouse receiving alimony can demonstrate she or he still needs the alimony. However, with a competent family law attorney, you might be able to get a reduction of the alimony.
Do You Need an Attorney?
Alimony has always been a heated issue. The higher-earning spouses don’t like paying it and will look for any reason to end it. The lower-earning spouses insist on receiving it for as long as possible. It becomes more complicated when the spouse on the receiving end starts to live with a new partner. A divorce attorney can help you with spousal support termination, modification, and reduction. A legal consultation can also help you understand your rights and obligations in terms of alimony payments to avoid penalties or undue financial strain.