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Cohabitation after a divorce could impact spousal support

On Behalf of | May 26, 2016 | Uncategorized

Parties who are tasked with making spousal support payments are often unhappy about providing continuing financial support to their former husband or wife. This is especially true for those in Arizona who feel strongly that their ex no longer needs their money to make ends meet in the years following a divorce. In certain cases, it is possible to re-approach the court and ask that spousal support be terminated.

One issue that triggers such a move is when a former spouse who is receiving alimony moves in with a new partner. Alimony is intended to provide temporary financial assistance to a spouse who was financially dependent on the other party during the marriage. Those payments are meant to give the recipient the time needed to get back into the workforce and regain financial stability. Most divorce agreements state that if the receiving party remarries, spousal support payments will be terminated.

Few agreements address cohabitation. This can leave a paying spouse bitter and unhappy about making alimony payments to their ex once he or she has moved in with a new partner, and seems to no longer need continued financial support. However, these cases can be difficult to prove in a court of law.

For those who want to try and have their spousal support terminated or reduced, it will be important to show the court evidence to suggest that the cohabitation between the recipient and the new partner is one that mirrors a marriage. If the court can be convinced that the party receiving spousal support has entered into a relationship that is akin to a new marriage, the judge may be willing to consider ending or reducing spousal support payments. As with any Arizona legal matter, the best way to create a course of action is to sit down with a divorce attorney and go over all of the facts.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Does Alimony ‘Until Remarriage’ Address Nonmarital Cohabitation?“, Brad Reid, May 17, 2016