When a member of a divorced couple decides to remarry someone with substantial means, the other spouse who is paying alimony may think they are automatically free of paying each month. This is a major mistake. Before dropping alimony payments, it is crucial to consult with a divorce attorney on what legal steps are necessary and whether or not amendments to the decree are required.
Each State Is Different
It is important to remember that the state in which both parties reside will be a determining factor where alimony is concerned. Some states automatically cease the payments once the other spouse remarries, no matter the income level of the new spouse. Others states will require the payments to continue until a court order provides that they stop, even if the new spouse is wealthy.
The Court Is Not Always Necessary
For couples whose split was amicable, it is possible to work out arrangements without the assistance of a divorce attorney or the court system. If one person marries a wealthy person, they may be completely fine with the payments ending. If the agreement to stop paying is approved by both parties, it is important to have it in a written, notarized document. Unfortunately, there are those who just cannot get along well enough to make these important decisions without legal assistance. Some may even demand alimony to continue out of spite, no matter how much money the new spouse brings to their relationship. If this happens, it will be necessary to go back to court to have a judge make the decision based on the circumstances of everyone involved.
Common Law Marriage
Another issue many people deal with is paying an ex-husband or wife each month while they are living with a wealthy partner. It may seem unfair that one person is living a wealthy lifestyle, thanks to their rich partner, while still collecting alimony. However, this can be challenged in court if both are contributing to daily living expenses. The court may see this as a substantial change in circumstances that can end the support paid out each month. Proof of their living arrangements and possibly their income must be provided.
For those who are still supporting an ex who is now with someone of high wealth, there is a good chance that the alimony payments can end. Keep in mind that if any money is being paid out in child support, that is a completely different issue that has to be taken up in family court. A divorce attorney will need to be consulted to ensure that all money that is being paid out is going to the correct cause. Do not make the mistake of ending all support just because there is a rich new spouse that is taking care of everything. Make sure everything is legal to ensure there is not a problem later on.