Does Remarriage Affect Alimony?
A common question raised by our clients going through a divorce, whether they are being awarded alimony or ordered to pay, is what happens to alimony if the recipient remarries? The answer is fairly straightforward, although there are important nuances to consider. Below we attempt to answer the question and explain some of those nuances. If you need help with alimony in divorce, post-divorce modification of alimony, or other family law matters in the San Gabriel Valley or Los Angeles County, reach out to Blasser Law in Claremont to share your concerns with a skilled and experienced Southern California family law attorney.
California Alimony Law: An Overview
Spousal support, known colloquially as alimony, plays a crucial role in many divorce proceedings in California. Aimed at preserving the lower-income spouse’s standard of living as established during the marriage, alimony in California may be awarded temporarily (during separation) or permanently (post-divorce). Factors like the marriage’s length, each spouse’s earning capacity, and the marital standard of living are all part of the court’s consideration.
The Impact of Remarriage on Alimony in California
As per California Family Code Section 4337, spousal support is automatically terminated when the spouse receiving the support remarries. This provision removes the need for a court hearing or additional legal processes to end alimony, streamlining the transition. It’s worth noting, however, that this regulation does not extend to temporary support awarded during separation.
Additionally, the law does not apply where an agreement between the parties says otherwise. It’s possible in a divorce settlement for the parties to agree to continue alimony payments, even if the recipient remarries. Such an agreement would need to be explicitly stated in the divorce settlement to be effective.
Cohabitation and Alimony: What You Should Know
Another situation that often arises is when the supported spouse starts living with a new partner without getting married—a circumstance known as cohabitation. Under California Family Code Section 4323, cohabitation with a non-marital partner may be perceived by the court as a change in circumstances, potentially leading to a reduction or termination of spousal support. In this case, it would be necessary to go to court and prove the facts necessary to modify or terminate alimony. Cohabitation creates a “rebuttable presumption” of a decreased need for spousal support, which makes it easier for the paying party to prove their case that alimony should be stopped.
Navigating Alimony and Remarriage in California with Blasser Law
The complexities of spousal support, particularly when remarriage or cohabitation is a factor, can be difficult to navigate without legal assistance. In these situations, the guidance of an experienced family law firm like Blasser Law is invaluable. We’ve been serving clients in Los Angeles County and the San Gabriel Valley for years, providing clear, comprehensive advice on California alimony laws and their implications.
If you have questions about remarriage, alimony, or any other aspect of family law, we invite you to reach out to us at Blasser Law. Our dedicated legal team is committed to helping you understand and navigate the legal landscape of alimony in California.