Can spousal maintenance be waived or modified if the receiving spouse is in a live-in arrangement with someone?

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Can spousal maintenance be waived or modified if the receiving spouse is in a live-in arrangement with someone?

My ex-wife recently informed me that she is engaged to be married. We were divorced and have an agreement that if she entered into a relationship reasonably resembling a marriage I would no longer be required to pay spousal maintenance. My feelings, based on her financial history, are that she will delay the marriage until it best suites her financial needs. I am looking to see if I have any reasonable chance at petitioning the court to cease spousal support based on her current relationship. I am also interested to know what my right are with respect to my 11 year old daughter when my ex-wife moves in with her soon-to-be husband. I am the primary custodian and my home is her legal residence but my ex-wife and I have a week on/week off parenting plan. Is she allowed to move my daughter in with her when she moves or is there a requirement that has to be satisfied by the courts first?

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

David Lee / Law Offices of David Lee

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your Marital Settlement Agreement states, "if she entered into a relationship reasonably resembling a marriage I would no longer be required to pay spousal maintenance," you should file a motion to modify and/or terminate your spousal maintenance obligation.  This paragraph was entered in your agreement for just this sort of "change in circumstance."  

Without more information, your wife's visitation shouldn't be affected if she is remarried.  However, if you believe that your daughter is in any danger with this new living arrangement, you can also file a motion to modify child visitation.  You can ask the court to appoint a Guardian ad Litem who will conduct an investigation and make a recommendation to the court if any prior visitation order should be modified.

For more information on Maintenance, Child Visitation and Guardian Ad Litem, visit my website at:

http://davidleelegal.com/

David Lee


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