What Happens To Your Alimony Obligations If Your Ex-Spouse Moved In With A New Partner Before You Divorced?
One of the most emotionally charged reasons that people request a reduction or early termination of their alimony obligations is when the supported ex-spouse has begun cohabiting with a new partner. Even if the supported spouse and the new partner do not share an address, the court might reduce the paying spouse’s alimony obligations if the paying spouse can demonstrate that the supported spouse is also getting a substantial amount of financial support from the new partner. That sounds simple enough, but you must also prove that this financially supportive relationship began after the court ordered you to pay alimony, not before. If your ex-spouse was already living with a new partner who financially supported her before you divorced, then you could be out of luck. At the very least, you will need the help of a Palm Beach County alimony lawyer.
Court Orders Man to Continue Supporting His Ex-Wife, Her New Boyfriend, and Two Other Family Members
Patrick and Cynthia divorced in 2004, when their daughter was 13 years old. Patrick moved out of the marital residence sometime before the parties divorced, and by the time the court finalized the divorce and ordered Patrick to pay $3,100 per month in alimony, Cynthia’s boyfriend Ron had moved in. Patrick’s alimony payments were the main source of support for the household; Cynthia and Ron earned $1,000 each, so the alimony was more than their combined income.
Despite that Patrick’s income only increased after the divorce, he requested a reduction in the amount of alimony in 2009, after the parties’ daughter turned 18. That year, the daughter had a baby, and Patrick covered both his daughter and grandchild on his health insurance. He also paid his daughter’s college tuition. The court reduced Patrick’s alimony obligation to $2,100 per month.
Cynthia appealed the court’s decision to reduce Patrick’s monthly alimony payment. She argued that her supportive relationship with Ron predated the divorce, and therefore it was not a reason to reduce Patrick’s alimony obligations. Meanwhile, Patrick’s ability to pay had not decreased. His support of his adult daughter and her child was purely by choice; the courts do not count financial support of an adult child two a spouse’s necessary expenses unless the adult son or daughter requires parental support because of a disability. Therefore, the appeals court reversed the decision. It reasoned that, just as it was Cynthia’s decision to allow the parties’ daughter to live with her, it was Patrick’s decision to pay for her college tuition and her child’s health insurance.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
A Boca Raton alimony lawyer can help you if the court has ordered you to pay enough alimony to support your ex-spouse as well as everyone else your ex has chosen to include in their inner circle. Contact Schwartz | White for help with your case.