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How Cohabitation in New Jersey Affects Alimony

Brad Micklin- How Cohabitation in New Jersey Affects Alimony

Men’s divorce lawyers in New Jersey often advise their clients that they will need to continue paying alimony until their ex remarries. Did you know that you may be able to terminate these payments before your ex spouse is legally married? Cohabitation may be grounds for a termination of alimony payments in New Jersey. First we have to determine what constitutes cohabitation, and then we will explain the criteria the court considers when deciding whether to terminate the alimony order.

What Is Cohabitation?

In the state of New Jersey, cohabitation is defined as: “a mutually supportive, intimate personal relationship in which a couple has undertaken duties and privileges that are commonly associated with marriage or civil union but does not necessarily maintain a single common household.” As you can see, a couple does not need to be married to be cohabitating. In addition, the couple may not need to share a household full time to be considered cohabitating. If your ex has entered into an exclusive relationship and shares a home with their significant other at least part-time, speak to a New Jersey alimony attorney about requesting a termination of your alimony order.

How Courts Determine Cohabitation

A judge will consider several pieces of evidence to determine whether a couple is cohabitating. To determine cohabitation, the judge will use your evidence to consider the likelihood that the couple:

  • Has shared finances like a joint bank account
  • Divides living expenses such as their rent or utilities
  • Has established a relationship with each side’s extended family and friends
  • Shares household duties like cooking, cleaning, and outdoor maintenance
  • Lives together in one home (or two) at a frequency that would be considered cohabitation according to its definition listed above

If the judge feels you have presented adequate evidence to prove cohabitation, she will likely grant your request to terminate alimony payments.

Collecting Evidence of Cohabitation

Our divorce attorneys for men in New Jersey have seen many clients successfully petition the court to terminate alimony due to their ex’s cohabitation with a new partner. What do most of these men have in common? They came to their attorney armed with vital evidence that proves cohabitation. The more evidence you have, the more likely we are to convince the judge that terminating alimony is the right thing to do. 

Many of our NJ family law firm’s clients are confused about the sorts of evidence they should gather. It can be difficult to prove cohabitation, especially because they are no longer heavily involved in their ex’s life. We suggest all men consider hiring a private investigator to help them collect this evidence. This short-term expense is a small price to pay to have your alimony terminated. 

A private investigator may focus on:

  • Searching public records for an association between your ex and the romantic partner’s address, such as a mailing address or cell phone records.
  • Reviewing text and email communications with your ex-spouse for inferences of a relationship.
  • Reviewing social media accounts to find evidence of cohabitation, such as photos and posts that regularly show the couple in the same home. 
  • Documenting the couple leaving the home together in one vehicle and going to such places as restaurants, gyms, doctor appointments, or other destinations.
  • Showing the couple packing up the car and leaving for a vacation from the same home. 
  • Documenting where both cars are parked overnight.
  • And even checking garbage cans for discarded paperwork and other evidence that may prove cohabitation.

If you have collected several pieces of evidence yourself, connect with a divorce attorney for men in New Jersey to determine whether you have enough proof for a solid case. Our New Jersey divorce lawyers for men are here to provide honest legal counsel.

Is your ex spouse living with a new partner? Would you like to have your alimony order terminated? Contact our team of attorneys to build your case.

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