News and Resources

Can Cohabitating with a Lover Affect Spousal Support in California?

Spousal Support in CaliforniaSan Diego, CA – Spousal support is often awarded to the lower-earning spouse to help maintain the lifestyle the couple built and shared as a married union. Whether the support was granted before the divorce or after, the support (if it is temporary) will end at a particular date and time; unless the supported spouse remarries. What if, then, the supported spouse merely wants to cohabitate with a lover while receiving spousal support? Is alimony affected by shacking up?

California divorce attorney John Griffith of Griffith, Young, and Lass in San Diego says yes.

California Alimony Law

“When a supported party cohabitates with another, California law sees it as the new couple supporting one another and sharing household chores,” Griffith said.

Griffith points to California Family Law 4323(a) which states that “When a supported party is cohabitating with a nonmarital partner, there’s a rebuttable presumption of decreased need for support unless the parties agree otherwise in writing.”

However, getting alimony modified in California may not be so easy, even if the supported party is living in a state of cohabitation.

When Alimony Can Be Modified

Griffith explains that to have spousal support stopped or decreased, the burden of proof is on the spouse ordered to pay.

According to California law, the supporting spouse must prove that the supported spouse is in a romantic relationship with the cohabitant. Spousal support will not be modified if it is proven that the cohabitant is a roommate or engaged in a boarding arrangement.

Must Prove Evidence of a Relationship

To gather proof of a romantic relationship, the supporting spouse will need to collect evidence. Griffith says that getting such evidence isn’t always easy, and may force the supporting party to get creative.

“In order to modify alimony in the state of California, the supporting spouse will need to gather proof in the form of social media posts, photographs or witness testimony. In some cases, a private investigator can uncover whether or not the supported spouse is in a romantic relationship with the cohabitant,” Griffith said.

Griffith stresses that cohabitating with a lover will not terminate spousal support outright. He recommends anyone looking to maintain support while cohabitating to seek the advice of a qualified California divorce attorney.

“By learning more about California alimony law, you can protect your rights and your right to support while you seek to move on with your life following divorce.”

To learn more about alimony in the state of California and to seek the advice of an experienced California divorce lawyer, contact John Griffith of Griffith, Young and Lass in San Diego at

About Us: Griffith, Young, and Lass is a Family and Divorce Law Firm serving the areas in and around San Diego, California. Experienced and compassionate, the family law attorneys at GYL are focused on providing each client a superior case experience.

© 2016 Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Meet Your Dedicated San Diego Family Attorneys
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

Family Attorney, John N. Griffith, CFLS

John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.


Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.
Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

San Diego family lawyer Catie Young has a wide range of litigation experience. She has worked in civil litigation. She has successfully represented clients in many areas of family law including child support, child custody, divorce and domestic violence. She has a unique approach to each child custody case, so clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases.


Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.
Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Family Attorney, Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Amy Lass was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting and went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006. Amy takes a practical and cost considerate approach to the process while striving to balance the emotional needs and objectives of her clients.


  • acfis
  • acfis
  • bear
  • bear
  • bear
The Typical Divorce Process in California
Discovery of Assets & Obligations (1-3 months)
1 Complaint for Divorce Filed Start of litigation
2 Complaint is Served Varies, but usually shortly after the complaint is filed
3 Answer to Complaint Due 30 days from the date of service
4 Mediation Anytime, but usually after initial discovery
5 Temporary Hearing Usually early in the process
6 Late Case Evaluation / Judicial Hosted Settlement Conference Usually near the end of the case
7 Trial (If Needed) The goal is to settle, but if your case goes to trial, it could take months after the start of litigation.
We deliver results
I am beyond grateful for the entire staff at Griffith, Young, and Lass. I don't even call myself a client anymore, they are my friends that protected my family and fought with me, side by side.-Erik H., San Diego