Individuals who receive support from a former spouse must understand the effect that cohabitation can have on these payments. Alabama law states that alimony will be terminated if an individual either lives openly or cohabits with another individual. Cohabitation can be particularly frustrating for an individual who pays alimony because the recipient of the alimony might use the amount to support a relationship with their new partner and the recipient of the alimony might also be receiving financial support from the new partner. As a result, it is important to understand what qualifies as cohabitation and how evidence of this type of relationship can be presented in a court of law.
Cohabitation is the event that occurs when two unmarried adults live together and share finances. Determining whether cohabitation is existent can prove quite challenging. The more that a couple’s relationship, the more likely that a court of law will cohabitation that can end spousal support. Some of the activities that are performed a couple that is cohabiting include eating together, grocery shopping for each other, and sharing vehicles.
Individuals can request for a court to end spousal support based upon the demonstration of a spouse’s cohabitation with another. In determining whether a couple cohabits, a court will analyze several factors including whether the parties have acted in a manner that suggests cohabitation, whether the couple has worked on repairing a property together, the length of time that the individuals have been in a relationship together, the degree to which the individuals have cohabited, the level of support that the individuals provide for one another, whether the couple has jointly purchased a home or property, and whether the couple has supported one another’s children. If the court determines that cohabitation exists, the court will end alimony. Even if a court determines that cohabitation does not exist, the court might still reduce the amount of alimony that a former spouse must pay.
Demonstrating that cohabitation exists is often quite challenging. Proof of cohabitation is presented through either documentation from past bank statements and credit card bills of financial interdependence or surveillance videos and photographs documenting certain activities. With the prevalence of social media, many individuals document relationships online which makes this information capable of used to demonstrate cohabitation. Sometimes, individuals can use the testimony from family members, children, and neighbor to prove that cohabitation exists. Some individuals even employ a private investigator to obtain information about a couple’s lifestyle.
If you are involved in alimony situations that involve cohabitation, consider contacting an experienced Birmingham divorce attorney with Alabama Divorce & Family Lawyers, LLC at (205) 255-1155.
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