How does Cohabitation Affect Spousal Support

Pierre Domercq Spousal Support

What happens when you are paying spousal support after your divorce and you learn your former spouse is cohabiting with someone new? How does cohabitation affect spousal support in Carlsbad and North County divorce cases? These cases are highly circumstantial but worth discussing with the experienced family law attorneys at Burke & Domercq.
Generally speaking cohabitation isn’t just a few overnights here and there. It is usually interpreted as “living together” just as a married couple would. One must consider financial, social and relationship “interdependencies” and the impact this new relationship has upon the “quality of life” of your former spouse and the need for continuing support.
Spousal support is usually awarded to balance the quality of life for both parties after a divorce. Cohabitation by the recipient of spousal support may require a close look. Cohabitation may require a post-decree modification or the elimination of spousal support altogether based upon California family law.
In order to successfully argue for a post-decree modification to spousal support the attorneys at Burke & Domercq must show the need for the support itself has lessened.
The types of questions we might consider would include whether or not the cohabitation included sharing of bills such as rent or a mortgage, utility bills and even the division of household chores. Asking children of a prior marriage to conceal the new living arrangement or taking active steps to hide what is going on (like parking a vehicle around the corner) may help your case.
Has this new relationship substantially improved the recipient’s quality of life or reduced the burden of their cost-of-living? We invite you to contact us or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced North County family law attorneys. We have represented parties in post-decree actions for several decades and will help to protect your interests.