When spousal support has been an issue in a divorce, the judgment will detail the terms for spousal support. Generally, the terms in the judgment will include a clause as to when spousal support will terminate. An experienced spousal support lawyer at Wallin & Klarich can review your judgment and explain to you when and how spousal support in your case can and will terminate.
Family Code Section 4337 states, “Except as otherwise agreed by the parties in writing, the obligation of a party under an order for the support of the other party terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the other party.” Therefore, if you and your ex-spouse do not have any other terms relating to the termination of spousal support and the supported party remarries, the party making the support payments will no longer have to make such payments. His or her obligation to pay spousal support automatically terminates.
However, in order for spousal support to terminate upon the remarriage of the supported party, the remarriage must be valid. In California, for a marriage to be valid, the persons getting married must consent to the marriage, be issued a marriage license, and the marriage must be formalized by an official.
In a recent case, an ex-husband wanted to terminate his obligation to pay spousal support after his ex-wife had a commitment ceremony. The Court denied his request, because the ex-wife and her partner were never legally married, nor had the intention of entering into a valid marriage. The Court stated that the legislature did not intend the term “remarriage” to include a commitment ceremony where there was never an intention to enter into a legal and valid marriage.
If you believe that your obligation to pay spousal support will terminate because the supported party has remarried, it is important that you hire an experienced and knowledgeable spousal support lawyer who can explain the process to you and accurately determine whether the spousal support order to pay has been terminated. Wallin & Klarich has experienced spousal support attorneys who can help you today who will be there when you call. If you have questions or concerns about your case, call us at (888) 749-7428. With offices throughout Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties, we are able to be there for you wherever you happen to live.