Alimony and Cohabitation From Then to Now


Stasia Rudiman


Faculty editor: Paul Horton
Publication: Contemporary Legal Issues
Volume: 22
Start Page: 568
Month: December
Year: 2015
Type: Article


California presumes that cohabitation by a supported ex-spouse is a circumstance justifying denial or diminution of an original alimony award or downward modification of a prior alimony award. The quest for the presumption requires courts to distinguish cohabitation from remarriage (which automatically terminates an alimony award) and also from other relationships and living arrangements (which implicate the presumption circumstances have not changed since the previous alimony order). How did we get here? In this essay I relate the history of Family Code § 4323 and the attempts by Legislature and courts to fill it with effective meaning.