When a couple is seeking a divorce in New York, one thing that may be part of a final divorce settlement is an order for alimony, also called spousal support or spousal maintenance. Designed to help a financially dependent spouse in a marriage support themselves when the marriage is terminated, spousal maintenance may be awarded for a set amount of time, or permanently.
However, if alimony is awarded, even if a permanent award of alimony is issued by a court, one thing that can result in its termination is remarriage. Here’s what you need to know--
Remarriage Results in the Termination of Spousal Support
While a court can change or terminate a spousal maintenance order in New York if the party receiving the support remarries, the party does not have to remarry in order for the other spouse to seek termination of the spousal support. Indeed, as found in New York Domestic Relations Law 248, a court may modify a final divorce judgement or any orders made with respect thereto upon proof that the recipient of spousal support is “habitually living with another person and holding himself or herself out as the spouse of such other person.”
This means that in some cases, a party may lose out on their right to spousal support merely by living with another party, if the parties hold themselves out to be husband and wife. Holding out to be husband and wife might occur if the parties refer to each other as husband/wife or refer to being married, file taxes together, maintain joint accounts or own property together, or name the other party on insurance policies, etc.
Understanding Your Right to Spousal Support - and Your Right to Terminate It
Whether you are the recipient of spousal support or the person who is paying spousal support, it is important that you understand the laws regarding spousal support and what your rights are under those laws. At the firm of Bombardo Law Office, P.C., our experienced spousal maintenance attorney in New York has worked for couples on both sides of the issue, and understands the unique circumstances that you may be in.
If you have questions about spousal support and whether or not you can move in with another party if you have received a spousal support award, or if you would like to modify a spousal maintenance award, our law firm can help. Call us today for your initial consultation.