In a Texas
divorce, one spouse is ordered by a judge to provide financial support to the
other spouse and their children. But if the recipient spouse decides to
get remarriage to cohabitates with a new significant other, how does this affect
Impact of Remarriage and Cohabitation on Spousal Support
Texas alimony laws do state there will be a maximum amount of court-ordered
spousal maintenance. A judge may order a spouse to involuntarily pay no
more than 20% of the average monthly gross income of his or her income,
or no more than $5000 per month, depending on which amount would be lower.
The amount of time to pay alimony would also be limited to the shortest
amount that would reasonably to provide for the receiving spouse's
However, when the recipient spouse gets married in Texas, the paying spouse’s
obligation to pay alimony automatically ends. There is no need to obtain
a court order to stop paying. However, if the paying spouse owes due alimony
at the time the recipient spouse remarries, he/she must make those payments.
According to state law, cohabitation is defined as
two people who are involved in a romantic situation that live together
on a consistent basis. As soon as the supported spouse cohabitates with another person, alimony
ends. Keep in mind, the paying spouse cannot stop making payments to the
recipient spouse once he/she discovers cohabitation. A motion to terminate
the alimony must be filed in court, which requires evidence that the supported
spouse is living with another individual to present to the judge.
Impact of Remarriage and Cohabitation on Child Support
Although remarriage alone doesn’t qualify as a “change in circumstances”
justifying a change to child support, it is still possible to terminate
or modify the terms of the order.
If the supported spouse has a new child after getting remarried, a court
can consider a new child in child support modification applications—as
long as the proposed change in support doesn’t negatively affect
the children from the previous relationship. When it comes to considering
a new spouse’s income in calculating child support, Texas law makes
it clear that the court shouldn’t consider this.
If you have any further questions about your remarriage or the remarriage
of your ex-spouse,
contact our Houston divorce attorney at the
Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny for more information today.