Alimony refers to payments that someone needs to make to their former spouse after their marriage has ended. These payments can also be called spousal support, so it makes sense that some of our divorced clients wonder if remarriage can change the fundamentals of an alimony agreement. If someone remarries, it is expected that their new spouse will support them, right? A Suffolk County alimony lawyer can help you navigate legal questions like these and evaluate your obligations.
What Are the Types of Alimony in New York?
First, it is important to note that there are two different types of alimony recognized in the state of New York. There is “temporary maintenance,” meant to be paid when the divorce proceedings are ongoing. Then there is “post-divorce maintenance” that needs to be paid after the divorce is complete. This is the type of alimony we will be referring to.
Can Remarriage Affect My Alimony Payments?
If the person receiving spousal support gets remarried in the state of New York, this usually means that the alimony agreement is over. The understanding is that the spouse who is being paid support will no longer require it because they have a new partner to support them.
In some cases, there can be an agreement to continue alimony payments even if your former spouse gets married. But if your divorce agreement has no such stipulation you can expect alimony to terminate. If a person continued to receive alimony payments after they were remarried, they could be made to reimburse the former spouse who paid them.
This differs a bit for the person making the alimony payments. If you are responsible for paying spousal support and you get remarried, your obligation to pay alimony does not end. You would have to petition the court if you want to attempt to make changes to your agreement.
What if a Former Spouse is Cohabitating with Someone Else?
A person who receives alimony often understands that the payments will cease if they get remarried. Sometimes they get into a new relationship and decide to stop just short of getting married to ensure that those spousal support payments keep coming.
If your former spouse lives with a partner, you might be able to end your alimony agreement if you can show that they are cohabitating. Proving cohabitation can be difficult because there are specific rules about how it is defined. If your former spouse is in a relationship and someone just stays over at their home occasionally, that is not really cohabitation. You need to show that your former spouse and their current partner essentially act as husband and wife, just without the formal paperwork.
Talk to an Experienced Alimony Lawyer
If you have questions about your alimony agreement or you believe that it needs to be renegotiated, we can help. Contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about your options.