We recently handled a case that just went to court so we wanted to discuss the results.
We had a client where their divorce had already finalized and he was paying spousal support. He learned that his wife had a live-in boyfriend and asked us if he could have his spousal support reduced since she was living with another man.
The question revolved around the fact that when someone who is receiving spousal support either moves in with or has them move in with them, there is a presumption that there is a reduced need for spousal support because they are living in a romantic relationship.
I don’t like to quote the law normally, but because this is something that is not well known, here you go.
Family Code §4323(a)(1) states,
“Except as otherwise agreed to by the parties in writing, there is a rebuttable presumption, affecting the burden of proof, of decreased need for spousal support if the supported party is cohabiting with a nonmarital partner. Upon a determination that circumstances have changes, the court may modify or terminate the spousal support…”
You see that is says rebuttable presumption. This means that all we have to do is make the claim that the other person is living with someone and they have to prove otherwise.
In this particular case we had submitted exhibits that showed their facebook page which showed them “in a relationship” as well as photos of them on vacation, embracing not to mention the guys cars and toys were parked in the driveway which we provided photos of that as well.
The result as good in this case and the Judge ordered that the spousal support be reduced by half based upon the declaration we wrote for our client.
This was not the first time we have drafted a Request For Order for these reasons so we are pretty good at them.
In fact, we draft probably 10 new Request For Orders (motions) to get court dates for people who are representing themselves and everyone usually does pretty good in court.