FAQs: I want to Terminate Spousal Support if My Spouse Has Remarried. My EX just remarried, how do i stop the spousal support in California?
How Do I Terminate Spousal Support if My Spouse Has Remarried?
In California, there are several reasons that a spousal support order can be terminated, one of which is when the spouse who receives spousal support remarries or registers a new domestic partnership. However, unless it specifically states that spousal support ends when the receiving spouse marries again in the terms of your spousal support order, you may need to ask the court to terminate the order.
It is also acceptable to modify (or attempt to modify) a spousal support order in California for various reasons. Technically, terminating a spousal support order is a modification of the order, because it changes the terms of the order so that it is no longer necessary.
Why Does a New Marriage or Registered Domestic Partnership Terminate Spousal Support in California?
Spousal support does not always automatically terminate when the receiving spouse remarries. However, for many reasons, you may successfully terminate spousal support when the receiving spouse remarries or enters a new registered domestic partnership.
Usually, the reason that spousal support has the option to end when the receiving spouse remarries is that the financial situation of that former spouse is now the responsibility of the new spouse or partner. The receiving spouse (in most cases) no longer relies on the support, or no longer needs to rely on the support of the paying spouse.
When the receiving spouse remarries, their income is combined with the income of their new spouse. This is similar to when the receiving spouse has an increase in income due to a promotion, a raise, or a new job, all of which are other reasons that spousal support could potentially be terminated in California. These situations are examples of changes in circumstances that may warrant a modification to a spousal support order . In some cases, simply cohabitating with another partner may be reason enough to modify a support order.
However, in some cases when the second marriage ends in divorce or annulment, the spousal support order from the first marriage may be reinstated. Spousal support, or alimony as it is sometimes called, may be necessary in spite of an attempted remarriage.
When Can a Spousal Support Order be terminated?
Spousal support may be modified if the receiving spouse’s needs change, but they may also be modified if the paying spouse’s resources, or ability to pay changes.
This means that alimony could be modified or terminated in many circumstances.
• If the receiving spouse remarries or enters a new registered domestic partnership, he or she may no longer need spousal support;
• If the receiving spouse’s income increases, he or she may no longer need financial support from alimony;
• If the paying spouse loses his or her income due to job loss, incarceration, or extreme healthcare emergency, he or she may no longer be able to afford the current spousal support payment;
• The terms of the spousal support agreement may dictate that spousal support is only to be paid for a set amount of time, following which, it may terminate;
• In some spousal support orders, the terms of the order may state that the receiving spouse needs to make a good faith effort to become financially independent. In this case, the order may be terminated either when the receiving spouse does become financially independent, or on the case that the receiving spouse fails to make a good faith effort to become financially independent.
A spousal support order may also state that spousal support is still to be paid in spite of the receiving spouse’s subsequent marriage, or in the case of any specific situation. In this case, you may not modify the spousal support agreement in the case of remarriage.
How Do I Terminate A Long Term Spousal Support Order in California?
If you are ready to tell the court that you want to terminate your spousal support order, you can do so by filing for a modification of your existing spousal support order. Remember that it is always in your best interest to consult with a qualified attorney in California who has experience in spousal support orders, the modification of court orders, and other areas of family law. You may or may not choose to use the same attorney who helped you through your divorce.
The process for terminating your spousal support is the same as the process for modifying it, because you are simply modifying the existing order so that the terms of the order state that spousal support does not need to be paid in the current situation, or under the current circumstances. Remember that spousal support may be reinstated in some cases if circumstances change in the future.
First, you’ll need to find the right forms. In addition to any local forms that your court specifically requests, you’ll need to fill out the following:
• A Request for Order, and possibly the Information Sheet for Request for Order,
• An Income and Expense Declaration,
• You may need a Spousal or Partner Support Declaration Attachment,
• A Declaration, or an Attached Declaration
• Make sure to check with your attorney; he or she will be able to help you obtain the correct forms, all of the forms that you need, and the most recent versions of these forms.
Your attorney can also help you to fill out these forms correctly, which is critical if you want to successfully modify your spousal support order. If you choose to use a limited scope representation attorney, having them review your forms is one important aspect of your case that you will likely want help with. You may also as your family law facilitator for help completing your forms, but remember that an attorney is your best resource for legal advice.
When you have completed your forms and have had them reviewed, make sure that you have at least three copies: the original and two to three additional copies. You may make more copies if you wish. When you file your forms, the court will keep the original on file. You will need to serve one on your spouse or partner, keep one for your records, and, if they are involved, send one to your local support agency (or any other involved party).
When you serve the papers on your former spouse or partner, make sure that you include a blank copy of a form called a Responsive Declaration to Request for Order, and blank copy of another form called an Income and Expense Declaration.
If you cannot serve your papers by mail, another person who is not you and who is at least 18 years old must serve the papers for you. Process servers exist exactly for this reason - sometimes involving family and friends can make a messy situation even harder to handle.
The time at which you need to serve the papers can vary depending on your case: in some cases you need to give the other party a minimum of 16 days before the court hearing, and in some cases you may not be required to leave so much time. Check with your attorney or a family law facilitator to ensure that you are serving your former spouse or partner at the right time. You want to leave enough time to follow the law, but not enough to hurt your case.
After your former spouse or partner has been served, you or the person who served the papers will need to file a proof of service with the court. Even if you don’t fill it out, it is in your best interests to have either a family law attorney or a family law facilitator look over the proof of service because it is critical that it is filled out and filed correctly. Different forms are needed if the papers were served by mail or served in person.
Your next step is attending your court hearing. This is where you will get a decision from the judge as to whether your spousal support can be modified (or terminated). If the judge decides that your spousal support can be terminated (your modification has been approved), either you or the court clerk will need to prepare the documents for the judge to sign. Ask your attorney if you need to do anything at this point. If so, you will simply need to fill out the appropriate forms and submit them to the judge. He or she will sign the order, and your spousal support order will be terminated.
Orange County, California Family Law and Spousal Support Attorneys
If your former spouse or partner has remarried or registered a new domestic partnership, you likely have cause to terminate your current spousal support order. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and it is always a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced attorney in your area. At Yanez & Associates, we offer free initial consultations so that we can get to know you and your case, and you can get to know us. Contact us today to schedule yours.