Child support belongs to your kids. The obligation to pay child support will not be terminated until your children are emancipated. Your former wife’s significant other, whether he is a boyfriend or a new husband, has no legal obligation whatsoever to provide support for your children. Even if the significant other chooses to contribute to your children’s support, your responsibility is in no way diminished.
Your alimony obligation is another matter. The answer to this question depends in part on the language of your Final Judgment of Divorce. If the Final Judgment contemplates this event and provides for an automatic termination provision once your former wife begins cohabitating, the answer is simple: you can simply cease paying alimony.
However, it is more likely the case that the Final Judgment will not provide for an automatic termination. In such a case, you will have to make an application to the court to have your alimony obligation reduced or terminated. You may be entitled to relief if there is a financial interdependency between your ex-wife and her boyfriend.
Edward J. O’Donnell is a Certified Matrimonial Attorney and a partner in the Morristown, NJ family law firm of Donahue, Hagan, Klein, Newsome & O’Donnell, P.C. He was recently listed in the top 100 lawyers in all fields throughout the state by New Jersey Lawyer Magazine.
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