Court: Spousal support to continue after commitment ceremony

By August 30, 2012Family Law

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C posted in Family Law on Thursday, August 30, 2012

When is a marriage ceremony not a marriage ceremony? When the two people involved don’t actually get married, but rather express a commitment to each other.

That’s what a court far from St. Louis ruled recently. For the ex-husband of the woman in the commitment ceremony, the California appeals court ruling means he will have to continue to write monthly spousal support checks to the tune of $32,547.

The stock broker also sends $14,590 in monthly child support payments, according to a media report.

When he and his wife separated in 2006, he agreed to pay her the two amounts each month. When the couple got divorced in 2008, the payments continued.

After the divorce, she got engaged to a doctor and they set a May of 2009 wedding date.

According to the news article, the formerly married couple had lingering divorce issues, however. Those issues had the woman worrying that her soon-to-be new husband would be dragged into divorce disputes with her ex.

So the new couple postponed their nuptials and settled on a commitment ceremony rather than a wedding service.

In the ceremony, she wore a wedding dress. She told her children to consider her and the doctor married. The couple also signed a traditional Jewish prenuptial agreement.

Her former husband then asked a Los Angeles County Superior Court to end his alimony payments on the grounds that his ex-wife had remarried.

She countered that he was late on nearly $250,000 in support payments.

That court sided with the ex-wife, ruling that the woman had not actually remarried.

An appeals court recently affirmed that ruling.

Our Missouri family law firm handles similar cases. For more information, visit our St. Louis spousal support page.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Commitment Ceremony Won’t Stop Ex’s Checks,” Aug. 27, 2012