Many Los Angeles women give up their career plans to take care of the home after they get married, especially if they have children. While this can be great for strengthening family bonds, this often results in women becoming dependent on their spouses' incomes. If a couple separates, it may be difficult for the woman to generate sufficient income to take care of herself and her children.
This is why it is important for women separating from their spouses to be fully aware of their rights regarding spousal support and property division. Spousal support and fair property division can provide a financial bridge to a new life. Depending on the circumstances, a spouse may be ordered to provide temporary spousal support or permanent alimony. In most cases, alimony ends when the receiving spouse remarries. However, one California woman seems to have found a way around that provision in the law.
The woman's ex-husband petitioned the Los Angeles County Superior Court to terminate his $32,547 monthly alimony obligation, alleging she had remarried. According to available information, the woman had gotten engaged to another man and scheduled the wedding for May 2, 2009. However, there were still contested issues between the woman and her ex-husband, and the woman was concerned that if she got remarried she would not be able to collect the unpaid support her ex-husband owed her. Therefore, apparently she and her fiancé refashioned the wedding as a "commitment ceremony."
Despite having guests that testified they believed the couple was getting married -- and the couple signed a traditional Jewish prenuptial agreement -- the courts found that the marriage did not conform to California Family Code, Section 4337.
The ex-husband's petition and subsequent appeal were denied, and he is still responsible for the quarter of a million dollars in unpaid alimony.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "Commitment ceremony won't stop ex's checks," Jeff Gorman, Aug. 27, 2011