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During a divorce, the judge has the authority to order your spouse to pay alimony, also known as spousal support, to you. Alimony allows you to maintain the lifestyle you have grown accustomed to during your marriage. However, it rarely lasts forever. There are a number of factors that affect the length of time that alimony is paid, including the receiving party’s relationship status. If you are currently receiving alimony, it’s important to understand how entering a new relationship could affect your payments.
Remarriage & Alimony
Getting remarried could automatically terminate your alimony payments. But, this only applies to people who are receiving certain types of alimony. If the court has awarded rehabilitative or reimbursement alimony, the payments often continue even after you are remarried unless the judge decides to terminate them.
Cohabitation & Alimony
Many people enter into serious relationships after a divorce, but do not ever get married. If you are in a serious relationship with someone, this could impact your right to spousal support.
There’s a difference between casually dating someone and cohabitating. The court will not terminate your spousal support payments simply because you are seeing other people after a divorce. However, if a casual relationship turns into something more serious, the court will look at a number of factors to determine if payments should be terminated. Some of the questions that need to be answered include:
- Have you told friends and family members about your romantic relationship?
- Do you have shared assets with your significant other?
- Do you both contribute to household expenses?
- How long has the relationship lasted?
- Do you live together?
It’s important to take a look at this last question. Although the court will consider whether or not a couple is living together, it is possible for a court to decide that a couple is cohabitating even if they do not reside in the same home.
After answering these questions, the court could determine that you are cohabitating with your significant other and involved in a relationship that is similar to a marriage. In this case, the judge has the authority to terminate your spousal support payments.