When the marriage is over through a divorce, the court may direct you to pay support to the other spouse. Spousal support is intended to meet a dependent spouse’s ongoing financial needs for a specific time period.
Do you still have to pay when your ex remarries or begins to cohabitate with a romantic partner?
Your spousal support obligation will end if your ex remarries. However, if your ex-spouse simply begins cohabitating with someone in a marriage-like arrangement, you may have to petition the court to terminate the support because that qualifies as a substantial change in circumstance per California laws.
How do you prove remarriage or cohabitation?
You cannot simply claim that your ex has moved in with a romantic partner. You will need to provide evidence to show why you have this belief and why the court should act. Some of the admissible evidence you may provide include:
- Proof that the partner and your ex-spouse live together full-time, such as surveillance photos of their cars at the home overnight and one or both leaving for work in the morning
- Evidence that they’ve co-mingled their lives, such as neighbors who believe that they are a married couple, shared bills, shared bank accounts and more
- Social media posts that prove they are a couple, such as pictures of their non-legal commitment ceremony or vacations they’ve taken together and screenshots of their new relationship status
In some cases, an ex-spouse may admit to the situation, but you may also need to invest in a private investigator or explore additional legal options for sussing out the truth.
Protecting your rights
Divorce, for the most part, comes with a range of financial implications. If your ex has since remarried or moved in with a romantic partner, you may petition the court to modify the existing spousal support order.