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Can I Request a Modification or Termination of Alimony for Cohabitation in California?

Posted on January 15th, 2022

At the Harris Family Law Group, our skilled divorce attorneys in Los Angeles know that after a marriage has been dissolved, and time passes for the former spouses, their circumstances can change.

Some find new love. Others change directions. Some find new jobs. Others move. Life goes on.

However, if you are still tied to a former spouse through alimony payments, the longer time goes by, the more exhausting the check-writing process may become.

Our Los Angeles spousal support attorney is often asked what life-changing circumstances allow for alimony modification or termination.

The answer is, it depends.

Here is what our California residents need to know about their ex-spouse cohabitating with a new partner, and whether it is grounds for their spousal support to be modified or terminated.

Investigating Cohabitation as a Legitimate Reason to Amend Spousal Support Orders

Cohabitation often requires more than an ex-spouse moving in with a roommate, although those circumstances are not unheard of inside a courtroom.

The more reliable approach to pursuing a modification or termination of spousal support is proving the recipient of the financial support no longer needs the payment.

That is where an investigation becomes important. You cannot simply think or state the recipient lives with someone else because he or she spends a significant amount of time at another person’s home. That is true even if you know the two are involved in a romantic relationship.

An investigation may reveal that he or she now lives with a nonmarital partner, with whom they share financial resources, which results in significantly fewer expenses for the person who is receiving alimony.

There should be documents showing the nature and extent of the relationship, and witnesses to the cohabitation that prove a reduced need for your financial support.


When these details can be proven, the payor has a reasonable presumption that their financial support is no longer necessary. However, that does not mean the courts will agree.


Partnering with a skilled spousal support lawyer in Los Angeles can help build your case for success, so you can pursue a modification or termination of alimony with confidence.

Spousal Support Requires a Rebuttable Presumption in California

When someone is paying alimony to their ex-spouse, they often look for any reason to lessen their financial obligation.


This is typically true when the alimony recipient moves in with a new partner.


The rebuttable presumption means that the court will presume that a reduction or termination of spousal support is appropriate unless the supported spouse can prove a continuing need for financial support despite living with someone else.


Chances are, if you pursue alimony modification or termination, you should prepare for your ex-spouse to respond through their attorney making it even more important for you to partner with a skilled family law attorney of your own. We can help.

Contact Our Los Angeles Alimony Modification Attorney at Harris Family Law Group

If you are paying alimony and believe you have reason to request a modification or termination of the order in court, contact our family law attorneys in Los Angeles at the Harris Family Law Group today to discuss the details of your case during a free consultation by calling 310-745-8644