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Will remarriage affect an existing spousal support order?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Spousal Support

Spousal support or alimony is not set in stone. It can change and continue to change based on the unique circumstances of each situation. Accordingly, many wonder if a ex-spouse remarrying is one of those circumstances that can affect the current spousal support order.

Remarriage does have an impact

In California, if the spouse receiving support remarries, the court may terminate or significantly alter the spousal support obligation to them. How does it happen?

  • Automatic termination: Under California laws, the remarriage of the person receiving spousal support automatically terminates their rights to receive alimony. However, if there is a written agreement stating otherwise, the support obligation continues.
  • Petition for modification (remarriage of paying party): In case it is the paying party who remarries, they may petition the court to modify the spousal support agreement if the new marriage results in a substantial change in circumstances that warrant an alteration of the alimony terms.
  • Petition for modification (cohabitation of receiving spouse): If the spouse receiving support cohabitates with a new partner in a relationship similar to a marriage, the paying spouse can petition the court consider this new living arrangement as a significant change in circumstances that could reduce or terminate spousal support.

Note that the result of each case, especially those involving petitions, will still depend on the relevant facts and circumstances surrounding the alimony order.

Achieving your goals through these approaches

Whether you are the one paying or the one receiving it, it is essential to understand your rights and know how the processes surrounding spousal support work. This allows you to ensure that the support order aligns with your current situation and is not detrimental to you and your family. With proper research and experienced guidance on spousal support, you can reach your goals confidently.