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  • Writer's pictureJames Chau

Should Alimony Stop when Former Spouse enters a Domestic Partnership?

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

So inevitably, this would happen, because of California's difficulty with treating same sex couples as separate but equal, the intersection of "real marriage" and "almost but not quite marriage" proves to be legally difficult.

As the Orange County register is reporting, a man in California is seeking to terminate alimony because his former spouse is now currently in a domestic partnership.

Typically, when heterosexual couples divorce they agree in their marital settlement agreement what the terms of alimony are. The usual terms are something like, if the other party cohabitates with a person of the opposite sex or is remarried then the alimony shall terminate.

I am guessing the marital decree of this individual did not take into account what would happen if the ex spouse entered a domestic partnership with a woman. Is a domestic partnership equivalent to "remarriage"?

Idealogically it shouldn't matter, becuse the underlying principle is the same, alimony should terminate because they are now being supported by a new person. However, the courts by doing this, is saying then that a domestic partnership is equivalent to marriage. Im not sure the courts want to get involved in making laws. Their job is to interpret laws.

On the other hand, for them to say the alimony should continue because a domestic partnership is not equivalent to remarriage, then they are following the idealogy of the state legislature. However, the underlying priniciple for alimony is being vexed, because its to support a spouse until they remarry.

So the courts I can see are having great difficulty with this, its the proverbial rock and a hard place. Get it straight with your positions courts!!

These silly idealogical twists are what makes law so fun. If you have a spousal support, or domestic partnership question contact my office today

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