“Cohabitation” means that a couple is living together in a manner that bears resemblance to marriage, when it comes to financial, social, and sexual interdependencies. When looking at it through the lens of family law, “cohabitation” can mean an argument and potentially jeopardizing an alimony obligation. If the spouse that is receiving alimony enters into such a relationship the question of “support” and need for financial assistance from the payor-spouse is the first thing to raise warning flags.
Vague Definition Can Create “He Said, She Said” Situation
Cohabitation is often left vague, but often divorce lawyers will spell out the specific terms in a Marital Settlement Agreement. This can help define the terms and actions that need to be taken should the alimony-recipient enter into a cohabitation situation. Unless this is spelled out cohabitation can be hard to prove. Quite often when the issue of cohabitation arises the accuser (payor-spouse) seeks to prove the relationship, while the alimony-receiving former spouse vehemently denies, in an attempt to keep the new “support” quiet.
Questions to Ask About Cohabitation and Alimony
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself if you find yourself facing a situation where you feel your ex-spouse might be in a new “financially supportive” relationship and you are seeking a reduction or termination of alimony:
- Are there more than three or more consecutive overnight stays?
- Are household chores shared?
- Have the kids been instructed to hide the fact that there might be a new person living in the house?
- Are the cars hidden or parked in someone else’s driveway or down the street
- Is there a shared bank account or other utility account?
If you’re able to answer “yes” to more than one of the above then you might be able to modify or terminate your alimony. A well-versed family lawyer will able to help you determine and assess the merits of your claim.
For advice on cohabitation and alimony and all it’s aspects, you need the expert law firm of Korol and Velen, certified family law specialists. Schedule a consultation today.