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Do I Have to Pay Alimony if My Ex is Cohabiting

Posted by Joshua Wilson | Apr 02, 2021 | 0 Comments

Alimony refers to court-ordered payments that are awarded to an ex-spouse or former spouse within a divorce agreement. Alimony exists in order to provide financial support to the ex-partner that makes a lower income. 

In some cases, an ex-spouse may not make any income at all. This is why alimony is necessary, to support children or the spouse's life overall. There is never a specific amount of alimony that must be paid, but sometimes spousal support is calculated by taking up to 40% of the paying spouse's net income. 

How Long Does Alimony Last?

Alimony can be costly, some people wonder when can you stop paying alimony? In Missouri, the duration of alimony payments is determined by a judge. Typically this is based on the length of the marriage, but overall the average is one year of alimony paid for every three years of marriage. Hiring a family law attorney can help minimize the amount of alimony that needs to be paid.  

What is Cohabiting?

Cohabitating is an arrangement when two people live together but are not married. Typically there is a romantic or intimate relationship between the two people. Cohabitating often happens after divorce. 

Cohabiting is different from remarriage because the couple is still divorced, but the former spouse lives with a new partner. 

Do I Have to Pay Alimony if My Ex Is Cohabiting? 

When it comes to alimony payments and cohabitating with an ex-spouse, it depends on the state whether or not this is legally enforceable. Most people wonder, does spousal maintenance stop if you cohabit?

Most often, cohabitation is not enough to terminate alimony. The paying spouse must file a motion to terminate support should they wish to stop being liable for alimony payments. There are various factors determining whether cohabitation resulted in a marriage-like relationship, but you will need to primarily prove your ex is cohabitating.

How to Prove Your Ex Is Cohabiting

If your ex is cohabiting you will need to be able to prove it in court to stop paying alimony

Conduct Surveillance

Surveillance is essentially proof of where your spouse is staying because if they are cohabitating with someone else, then you no longer need to pay them alimony payments. This can include photos of your spouse's vehicle, or using a private investigator to testify in court.

Identify the Key Individuals

If you have been able to collect evidence that your ex-spouse has been staying overnight at a residence with someone. This means that although they may be saying that they are staying with their sister, this can be a blatant lie. You will need physical evidence to tie them to the key individuals involved.

Interview Neighbors

If you have evidence then you can interview the neighbors. This will provide you with the last thing you need for a solid case against paying alimony. 

Run a Background Check

If your former spouse has moved in somewhere, then a background check may provide evidence of the new address they are sharing with someone else. 

How a Divorce Attorney Can Help

Although you might feel like you have all the information laid out, an experienced divorce attorney can help you ensure that you stop alimony payments should there be cohabitation. Alimony can be expensive, especially if you are paying for your ex to live at a new partners house. Joshua Wilson Law Firm can help. 

Speak with a family law attorney to find out if you can stop paying alimony. 

About the Author

Joshua Wilson

Divorce is complex and highly emotional. Everything is going to change, including your most important personal relationships, your finances, your daily routine, and -- of course -- your home life. This can be a stressful time, and the parties involved often are not thinking clearly. You need some...


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