Do you have to keep paying spousal support when your ex remarries?

by | Dec 31, 2020 | Spousal Support

If the California family courts order you to pay spousal support (also known as alimony) after a divorce, you probably feel eager to end that financial obligation. Spousal support can significantly impact your budget, all without the tax write-off it used to offer.

How long does spousal support last?

Many times, spousal support orders come with a specific timeline. You may have to make payments for several years until your spouse is in a position to better support themselves. Although it does happen, it is less common for the courts to award permanent support.

Regardless of whether your initial spousal support order was a temporary or permanent one, there are scenarios in which you can potentially end those obligations. Can you ask the court to stop spousal support when your ex remarries?

Remarriage may be a valid reason to terminate support

Under California law, remarriage is a valid reason for a spouse paying support to end that responsibility. In fact, the spouse intending to remarry while receiving support has an obligation to inform their ex-spouse about their changing marital status. In some cases, a spouse who continues to receive support after remarriage may have an obligation to repay what they received.

It’s important to note, however, that any marital agreement you have with your spouse may supersede the law on this issue. If you agreed to certain terms of spousal support in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement without reference to remarriage, you may have to fulfill those obligations even after your ex remarries. Otherwise, you may be able to file a request with the courts to end support once your ex remarries.

Whether you’re the payer or payee, if you have questions about spousal support, an experienced family law attorney can help you.