How Does Dating Affect Spousal Support?
It is not uncommon for people to start dating again after divorce. If you are receiving spousal support, you may know that remarrying can impact the payments you are currently receiving. You may also worry that even dating and starting a new relationship will impact spousal support. There are times when dating may impact your alimony, but that is not always the case. Below, our Santa Clara County spousal support lawyer explains further.
Dating While You Receive Alimony
In California, spousal support is automatically terminated when the recipient remarries. The spouse who pays alimony does not have to petition the court to issue an order terminating the support, and no other legal action is necessary. As soon as the recipient remarries, payments can stop. Dating, on the other hand, will not necessarily impact the spousal support you are currently receiving. If you do become serious with a new romantic partner, though, there are times when this can affect alimony payments.
Alimony and Cohabitation
In California, moving in with a romantic partner can impact spousal support. If the recipient cohabitates with a new partner and they are receiving financial support from them, that can constitute a significant change in circumstances and result in a decreased need for alimony. In these instances, the person paying alimony must petition the courts to modify or terminate an existing order.
If recipients can show a continued need for support even though they are cohabitating with someone else, the new living arrangements may not affect alimony. Although the courts will not consider the income or financial status of the new partner, they will take many other factors into consideration.
The courts will consider whether a new partner is contributing to the expenses necessary to maintain the household. If their contributions are significant, a judge may determine that this influences the recipient’s need for support. A judge may ask alimony recipients if they share assets with their new partner, if they vacation together, and about the duration of the relationship. This will allow a judge to determine if the relationship is serious, or if it will likely only be short-term. After reaching a decision, a judge may uphold, modify, or terminate a support order.
Evidence Used when Modifying Spousal Support
In addition to the testimony of you and your spouse, a court will also consider important pieces of evidence. These may include:
- A rental agreement showing both names
- Finances that have become commingled in a bank account
- A title for a plot of land that shows both names
- Have the same postal address
- Evidence of a commitment ceremony between the couple
- Whether children were born into the new relationship
Our Spousal Support Lawyers in Santa Clara County Can Advise On Your Case
If you are in a new relationship and are concerned about the alimony you are receiving, or you need to petition the court for a modification, our Santa Clara County spousal support lawyers can help. At Hepner & Pagan, LLP, our skilled attorneys have the necessary experience to advise on the facts of your case and we will always make sure your rights are protected. Call us now at 408-429-8336 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.