Moving on after a divorce can be a challenging prospect for some Stockton residents. While they may desire to find new opportunities for love and relationships, they may also be hesitant to jump into new commitments when they are still recovering from a failed marriage. Every person has the right to move forward at the speed that is right for him or her following a divorce. But, those who receive alimony may want to understand an important aspect of California law that can impact their financial stability due to their new personal relationships.
According to the California Family Code, section 4323, cohabitation can lead to a reduction or termination of alimony. Cohabitation creates a rebuttable presumption that an alimony-receiving spouse may not need as much support as he or she was ordered to receive. Cohabitation is not an automatic bar to the continued receipt of spousal support, but it can create an opportunity for a support-paying spouse to lessen or get out of his or her obligation.
If an alimony-receiving spouse enters into a cohabitation arrangement with another person, even if he or she and the new partner are not married, a paying spouse may pursue a modification to the existing alimony order. Like other changes in circumstances, cohabitation may augment a support-receiving spouse's financial health and lessen his or her need for payments from a former marital partner.
Cohabitation does not necessarily mean the end of alimony for former partners. It may or may not change the obligation that exists between them after their divorce. However, those individuals who would like to better understand how cohabitation may affect their obligations to pay, or rights to receive spousal support, should consult with a family law attorney.