The purpose of spousal support is to allow both ex-spouses the ability to maintain the same standard of living that they enjoyed during the marriage. It is also meant to help the lower-earning spouse get back on their feet until they are self-sufficient.
What if your ex moves in with a new partner, and wants to continue living off your support? Are you still expected to foot the bill?
Marriages of Long Duration
Let's say that you and your spouse were in a long-term marriage (lasted longer than 10 years), and now your spouse is living with a new partner. They are technically not re-married, but they are continuing to get spousal support.
If you are still paying spousal support under these circumstances, then you are justifiably upset. Do you have legal recourse?
While you may not be able to terminate spousal support 100%, you do have a good chance of reducing it. Your ex (the supported spouse) has the right to fight to keep getting the support, even though they are now living with a new partner.
What does your divorce judgement say?
The first place is to look is your divorce judgment. What is the language in regards to spousal support? Most agreements state that support shall continue until the supportive spouse remarries, dies, or until there is another order from the court.
If there's a written agreement that says that if the supported spouse cohabitates with a member of the opposite sex, that it is not a material change in circumstances, you may be out of luck.
On the other hand, if there is no such agreement, you have a good chance of reducing the spousal support.
Under Family Code Section 4323(a)(1), unless otherwise agreed in writing, there is a rebuttable presumption of a decreased need for spousal support if the supported party cohabitates with a nonmarital partner.
Have questions about post-judgement modifications? Contact a Los Angeles divorce lawyer from Claery & Green, LLP for a free consultation!