Cohabitation and Alimony

What happens to your alimony obligation if your ex-spouse remarries?

That’s easy: it’s over. Congrats to the new couple and more importantly, congrats to you on all that extra money you’ll be saving!

But what if your ex-spouse decides not to get remarried but to simply live or ‘cohabit’ with someone. Can you stop paying alimony in these circumstances?

Many mistakenly believe that if an ex-spouse cohabits with someone, it is a get-out-of-alimony-free card. However, unfortunately for payer spouses, that is not always the case.

In New Jersey, a payer spouse’s alimony obligation will not necessarily end if an ex-spouse cohabits.  Instead, the ex-spouse’s cohabitation constitutes “changed circumstances”. That means you can ask the Court to suspend, terminate, or modify your alimony obligation due to your ex-spouse’s cohabitation.

Your ex-spouse does not necessarily have to live under the same roof as a romantic partner for a finding of cohabitation.

Proving a case of cohabitation is very fact sensitive and often, very expensive. Payer spouses can and do hire private investigators for this very issue. It can be expensive, but can save money in the long run.

Date Published: April 4, 2017

Written by: Alexandra Rigden