Do I Have To Make Support Payments If My Ex Is Cohabitating?
There are many reasons why couples in Pennsylvania and New Jersey choose to cohabitate and not marry. For some, they want to cohabitate for a period of time before they marry, maybe for a couple of years as they legally marry one another. In other situations there is no plan to marry at all, possibly the individuals have been married before and do not believe they need a wedding to make their partnership work.
But, if you are supplying your ex-spouse with regular support payments and they are now experiencing an increased standard of living due to cohabitating with their partner, you may wonder if you should still be responsible for making these payments. A Bucks County family attorney can help.
Cohabitation is often defined as a supportive relationship in which the two individuals are taking on duties and privileges typically associated with couples who are in a civil union or married. If you are cohabitating, it is important to understand that the union is not formalized, so you may not have access to certain benefits married couples enjoy. To gain tax breaks and have medical access, for example, you would need to marry.
If you suspect your ex is receiving your spousal maintenance payments but is also sharing finances with their new intimate partner, you would need to establish proof. This can be difficult to do when you are no longer a part of the individual’s life. That said, it’s not impossible.
Examples of proof:
- Documentation of cohabiting couples sharing financial accounts.
- Witness statements from people who know that the couple is cohabitating.
- Evidence of sharing the same home and a division of household duties.
Each situation is unique, which is why talking to a legal professional is an important part of the process.
Talk to an Experience NJ Lawyer or PA Attorney
When you and your spouse divorced, it is possible there was a move to another state, even if you stayed in the same region for child care commitments or work responsibilities. For this reason, working with an attorney who understands the local and federal laws is in your best interests. Whether you live in New Jersey and your ex is cohabitating in Pennsylvania, or vice versa, a Bucks County family attorney can gather the evidence needed to request an alimony modification.
Or, if you are currently cohabiting yourself and want to be sure you have legal documents in place to formalize some of your wishes, your family lawyer can help with those legal documents as well.
Do you have questions about how to protect your assets and cohabitation? Cohabitation agreements are possible, you do not have to gamble with your financial future. Or, if you believe you should no longer be responsible for support payments because your ex-spouse is now in a long-term relationship and cohabitating, talk to the family law attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand to learn about your options. You may have more paths forward than you initially thought, call 215-968-6602 to get started.