Cohabitation And Alimony
Receiving alimony or spousal maintenance payments is common. It can be part of a divorce agreement when one spouse has a lot more resources than the other spouse, whether that is because of income and future earning potential or other assets. In order for maintenance payments to continue, there may be certain parameters.
If your ex-spouse is cohabitating with another person, there could be a modification in the amount of alimony you have to pay. There are even examples of alimony being terminated when a spousal maintenance recipient is living with an unrelated person. Every situation is unique and needs to be assessed individually. Talk to an experienced Bucks County family attorney to learn more.
Things a Court May Consider
Whether alimony payments will be terminated or adjusted will depend on a variety of circumstances. The court may consider the following when assessing an alimony obligation.
- Determining if the alimony recipient who is cohabiting still is in need of support. In these situations, the dependent individual will have to prove their need for further financial support. The burden of proof falls to the recipient.
- Impact of cohabitation. A court will look over the possibility that a person receiving alimony has a decrease in need because the person they are cohabiting with is providing financial support.
- Alimony is supporting the other individual. A payment structure could also be reduced or eliminated if the spousal payments are used to financially support the person the alimony recipient is cohabiting with.
Essentially, the marital settlement agreement will have to be reviewed to determine if any factors that impacted the original decision have changed.
Nature of the Relationship
The nature of the relationship between the alimony recipient and the individual they are cohabiting with will also be considered. If the individuals have joint financial accounts and share living expenses, that is considered. In addition, if it is clear the relationship is intimate, is recognized as romantic by a shared social and family circle, and there is other relevant information that points to the cohabitation being that of a couple, it will be assessed.
The length and intensity of the relationship will also be factored in when a court is making a deacon about alimony being reduced or terminated. In many situations, the longer the two individuals have been cohabiting, the higher likelihood the alimony change will be granted as well.
To discuss the details of your situation, connect with a Bucks County family attorney. There are times when an individual wants to have an issue assessed because they believe they should no longer be making spousal payments. Or, a person receiving alimony may depend on those payments and want to protect them as much as possible.
Do you feel you should no longer be paying alimony because your ex-spouse is cohabiting with an unrelated individual? The family law attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand help to untangle complicated matters and inform you of your options. Our dedicated legal team understands the finer points of family law. There are opportunities to create the life you want. Schedule your free consultation today, call 215-968-6602.