Do You Have To Continue Paying Alimony If Your Spouse Enters A Romantic Relationship?
When it comes to property division in divorce cases, the courts only look at numbers and leave emotions out of the equation. If a divorce court has allocated marital assets to you and to your ex-spouse in the amounts it determines are the fairest, or even if you, your ex, and your respective lawyers have reached a settlement without going to trial, it is still painful to pay alimony to the person who broke your heart and broke up your family. When you see how your ex spends the money you worked so hard to earn, it is natural to be angry. As hard as this might be to accept, your ex-spouse has the right to date someone new after divorcing you, just as you have the right to start a new relationship. Your ex’s new relationship is not a legally valid reason to stop paying alimony, unless the new partner is financially supporting your ex. A Birmingham alimony lawyer can help you prove to the court that your ex-spouse is getting financial support from a new partner and is no longer entitled to receive alimony from you.
Is It Cohabitation, or Is He Just a Roommate?
Older court decisions tend to use the term “cohabitation” to refer to couples who live together and merge their finances but are not legally married. This term is legally ambiguous, a ham-fisted attempt to render the slang term “shacking up” into formal English. Think about how, when your aunt used to talk about couples shacking up, it only made her seem judgmental and out of touch with reality. Likewise, if you focus on the fact that your ex is in a serious relationship with someone new, even if they live together, you will only succeed in making yourself look like a jealous cheapskate in front of the judge.
Instead, you should focus on the amount of money your ex gets from her new partner and how this means that she no longer needs alimony from you. Your ex will have to be transparent with the court about the financial aspects of her relationship with her new partner if she wants to continue to receive alimony. In some cases, courts have ruled that a man and a woman who live together, with one of them receiving alimony from a former spouse, are not necessarily cohabitating. This could be because their relationship is platonic and they do not socialize together or date each other, or it could be because they manage their finances the way that roommates do.
Remember that your alimony obligations will eventually end. Alabama does not order former spouses to pay alimony for longer than the duration of the marriage except in extreme cases, and if your ex remarries while receiving alimony, the alimony automatically ends.
Contact Peeples Law About Alimony Disputes
A Birmingham family law can help you persuade the court that your ex-spouse is no longer entitled to receive alimony because she has entered a financially supportive relationship. Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation.