If I Have a Boyfriend, How Can I Protect Myself Against Triggering the End of Spousal Maintenance?

If I Have a Boyfriend, How Can I Protect Myself Against Triggering the End of Spousal Maintenance?

  • Worried couple looking at their bills on the sofaThe law has certain termination events that would terminate the payer spouse’s obligation to pay maintenance.
  • The most significant one is when the party receiving the maintenance would be married again.
  • Sometimes even having a friend live with you may cause basis for termination of spousal maintenance payments.
  • This is very fact and circumstance dependant.
  • There is a term called “holding out” in New York that is used for when, for example, a woman who is receiving maintenance has a boyfriend and they are “holding out” to be husband and wife.
  • In that instance, even though those people are not really married legally, an argument might be able to be made that they are, in fact, living like married people and showing the world that they are, in fact, like married people.
  • Then there may be a cause to stop paying maintenance, which would have to be done through the court with a motion after the divorce judgment is entered.

If I have a boyfriend, how can I protect myself against triggering the end of spousal maintenance?

When it comes to spousal maintenance, the law has certain events that would discontinue a partner’s obligation to pay maintenance. The most significant, is when the party receiving the maintenance gets married again. However, there are instances where even having a friend living with you, for example, may cause the paying spouse to have a basis to terminate the support. Again, this is, as with many issues in divorce, very fact and circumstance dependent. You can negotiate a maintenance payment and deviate from the law. In other words, you would not have maintenance termination. However, it’s unusual that would occur because most people who are paying the maintenance, are looking to stop paying as soon as possible.

There is a term called “holding out” that is used in New York. An example would be when a woman who is receiving maintenance has a boyfriend, and they are “holding out” to be husband and wife. In that instance, even though those people are not legally married, an argument might be made that they are living like married people and showing the world that they are, in fact, like married people. Then there may be a cause for the person paying maintenance, under those circumstances, to be able to cease support. However, that would have to be done through the court with a motion that occurs after the divorce judgment is entered. Generally speaking, this is a complicated case to deal with.

Robert Pollack is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Long Island, New York. Contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., to set up a free initial consultation.

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