Have you been paying spousal alimony for quite a while following a divorce? It is important to financially support your child and former spouse during such an uncertain time. However, how long is too long; especially considering if your ex is living with another partner?
Did you know that proving cohabitation can reduce or even eliminate spousal alimony? Let’s explore the measures you can take to stop paying unnecessary alimony amounts given your former spouse’s living situation.
New Jersey Spousal Alimony Law
Before 2014, you had to request an alimony modification if you wanted to reduce the amount you’re paying in spousal alimony. This court procedure was essentially used to confirm a significant change in your ex-spouse’s life, such as a substantial increase in their income due to a new job or promotion.
In other words, if your ex is making more money, you would no longer be responsible to pay as much as before. You could also communicate an unforeseen change in your life that affects your financial stability, including unemployment or even the development of long-term illness.
However, in 2014, the state of New Jersey amended its alimony law, concluding that:
“Alimony may be suspended or terminated if the payee cohabits with another person. Cohabitation involves 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.”
Let’s break this down. If your ex, post-divorce, is living with somebody else in an intimate and financially supportive way, you may be able to decrease your spousal alimony or make it disappear altogether.
The Court and Cohabitation
The court will consider a multitude of factors when determining whether a couple is indeed cohabitating. These factors include but are not limited to:
- Does the couple share finances and utilize joint bank accounts?
- Does the couple’s family recognize their relationship?
- Does the couple share household duties?
- Does the couple live together? If not, how frequent is their contact?
- Does the couple share living expense responsibilities?
In addition, the court may consider how long the couple has been involved romantically.
But How Can You Prove Cohabitation?
The court will not only evaluate these factors when deciding whether or not you are still required to pay spousal alimony, but will require proof as well.
Obtaining this necessary proof of cohabitation can be tricky, as often the case with divorce, ex-spouses are not always the most helpful (or honest). You may try to search their social media profiles or ask shared friends and acquaintances for proof, but these attempts are often futile.
In these cases, your best bet may be to hire a private investigator.
Why Hire a Private Investigating Agency?
Let’s face it: trying to prove cohabitation following a divorce can get messy. Hiring a private investigating agency will allow you to procure proof without all the stress. An experienced team will help you navigate your cohabitation case. They will carefully use static and video surveillance, hidden cameras, GPS tracking devices, trash pulls, and a slew of other investigative techniques in order to solve your spousal alimony problem.
Most importantly, they will only apply methods that are appropriate for your specific case. In other words, you won’t have to worry about stepping beyond legal lines or ruffling feathers.
Which Agency Should You Hire?
If you are looking to work together with a reliable team with a proven track record of success, look no further than South & Associates. Our investigating experts are ready to save you time, money, and headaches.
Whether you require help with personal matters such as proving cohabitation to reduce spousal alimony or need business-related assistance like background investigating and workforce training, South & Associates will deliver the results you deserve. Contact our team today to get started.