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How Remarriage Impacts Alimony in South Carolina


If you're seeking a divorce in South Carolina, and there is a possibility that your case may involve spousal support or alimony, you may be curious to know if alimony ends when the receiving spouse cohabitates with a new partner or remarries. These are perfectly valid questions!

Alimony is not automatic in South Carolina divorces. When a married couple splits, the court may order the higher-earning spouse to support the other spouse by paying alimony. However, if the receiving spouse moves in with a new boyfriend or girlfriend or remarries, the paying spouse usually wants those payments to end.

We are going to explain what happens to alimony payments when a supported spouse decides to move in with a new sweetheart or remarry. If you have further questions, please contact our office to speak with a Columbia divorce attorney.

Alimony in South Carolina

South Carolina judges award alimony for various reasons; for example, to help pay for the education or training of a spouse who has been off the job market for a long time and wants to become employable.

When deciding whether or not to grant alimony, judges consider several factors, including but not limited to:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of both parties
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Each spouse's childcare responsibilities
  • Each spouse's financial resources
  • The spouse's needs and expenses

Cohabitation, Remarriage, and Alimony

In South Carolina, if a spouse has been awarded periodic payments, they end when the supported spouse begins living with a romantic partner. Under South Carolina law, alimony ends when the receiving spouse cohabitates with a romantic partner for 90 days or longer, with exceptions that may benefit the paying spouse.

If you are the paying spouse, your obligation to make periodic alimony payments terminates when your ex-spouse remarries. Once your spouse remarries, you can immediately stop making payments without having to obtain a separate court order.

If you were ordered to pay alimony via a lump-sum payment or a property transfer, you will have to make that payment or transfer. Those alimony payments are not affected by an ex-spouse's remarriage.

Contact our office for a personal case evaluation with a Columbia divorce attorney.

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