As you are well aware of, marriage involves quite a bit of sacrifice by both parties involved. Your spouse may have sacrificed their career pursuits in St. Charles to stay home and run your household while you pursued yours. Knowing this, you may have little issue in paying them spousal maintenance until they are able to support themselves. Your obligation to pay maintenance also ends if your ex-spouse remarries. Yet many of those that we here at Turken & Porzesnski LLC have worked with have come to us with concerns that their ex-spouses may be purposely cohabitating in order to retain their maintenance. If you share the same fears, then you should also know how to address them. 

Missouri state court rulings have established the following standard when it comes to continuing a maintenance obligation in cases of cohabitation: “Where the relationship has achieved a permanence sufficient for the trial court to conclude that it has become a substitute for marriage, equitable principles warrant a conclusion that the spouse has abandoned his or her rights to support from the prior marriage and is looking to the new relationship in that regard.” 

What does that all mean? Say that your ex-spouse chooses to cohabitate with a new romantic partner rather than remarry, thinking that doing so will entitle him or her to continue to receive spousal maintenance. Yet the two begin to co-mingle their assets, supporting each other and even making significant purchases together (such as a home or an automobile). If you are able to show that they have entered into a supportive relationship, the court may then choose to relieve you of your obligation to make maintenance payments. 

You can learn more about terminating a spousal maintenance agreement by continuing to explore our site.