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How cohabitation affects alimony payments

| May 13, 2020 | Alimony |

Receiving alimony for an indefinite period is never guaranteed. Several things can cause your spousal support payments to be terminated such as death, remarriage or cohabitation. The latter is defined as a person living with another in a marriage-type of relationship, including sharing a home and household expenses and having a social or sexual relationship with them.

The court will generally decide whether the financial support that a former spouse is receiving is enough to limit or eliminate their alimony if they start cohabitating with someone else. Divorcing couples’ marital settlement agreements should specifically spell out what cohabitation is to avoid confusion in the future should any concerns about alimony arise.

Proving that a former spouse’s new relationship meets the requirements of cohabitation isn’t an easy mountain to climb. The former spouse is likely to deny the charge. The accuser will bear the expense of having to pay attorney and private investigation fees, court costs and associated expenses to prove their case.

The type of evidence that you will need to produce to get support reduced includes bank statements, credit card bills, photographs and surveillance videos. You will need to prove that your ex spends three or more nights together with their new flame in a given week. You will have to show they share household chores such as cooking, cleaning and lawn care. You’ll also need to show that your ex has some or all of their belongings at the new partner’s place.

If they have a shared bank account or keep a vehicle in the garage or parked in front of the residence, then this only strengthens your case.

There is a cost-benefit analysis that you must weight in certain instances. You must decide whether it’s worth the expense of fighting to terminate alimony payments. If the cost of trying the Fort Myers case is too high, then it might make sense to continue making the payments, even if you’re capable of proving your case.

Attempting to terminate alimony is complicated. Each Florida case is different, and no outcome is guaranteed. An experienced alimony attorney can evaluate the evidence that you’ve amassed in your Fort Myers case and make a recommendation as to how you should proceed given those unique circumstances.

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