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Proving cohabitation in your spousal support case

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Alimony / Spousal Support

A spousal support obligation can be costly over time. Even if you negotiated an amount that you thought was fair, life can change, thereby rendering a once suitable alimony obligation untenable. When this happens, you should start thinking about seeking a modification. After all, if you can’t pay what you owe your spouse, then no one benefits.

While you can seek a modification for a number of events, including losing your job and experiencing an unexpected medical condition, there is one issue that many paying spouses find themselves concerned about: cohabitation.

Why does cohabitation matter?

Alimony is meant to provide your former spouse with financial support until such time as they can become self-sufficient. In many instances, a former spouse will become self-sufficient when they further their training and education to the point that they can obtain suitable employment.

But in other instances, a former spouse may start living with a new love interest, which provides them with the support that they want and need. At that point, your support payments are doing nothing but padding their already established financial security.

In other words, if you continue to pay your spousal support obligation even after your former spouse has started cohabitating with someone else, then you’re being taken advantage of.

How can you prove cohabitation?

If you can show that your former spouse is cohabitating with someone, then you might be able to have your alimony obligation ceased. But you’re going to have to present persuasive evidence to the court to secure this outcome. That might include doing each of the following:

  • Scouring social media: One way to find that your former spouse is cohabitating with someone else is to check their social media. Pictures and posts here can show that your former spouse is in a new relationship, and you may see indications that your former spouse is receiving financial support from that relationship.
  • Talking to neighbors: Talking to your former spouse’s neighbors can help you determine where your former spouse is staying and if someone else is staying with them. If there’s someone else frequently at the residence, then there’s a good chance that cohabitation is occurring.
  • Having conversations with your former spouse: You’d be surprised at how often former spouses are forthcoming about their new relationships. Therefore, if you can keep an open, respectful, and cordial line of communication open with your former spouse, then you might discover the information that you need to seek a stop to spousal support payments.
  • Considering a private investigator: If you’re struggling to gather evidence on your own, then you might want to have a private investigator help you out. One of these individuals can dig deeper into the matter, figuring out where your former spouse is staying and who is paying rent and utilities. This can also help you avoid allegations of harassment when you try to gather this evidence on your own.

Don’t continue to be taken advantage of

You work hard for your money. You shouldn’t have to use it to prop up an undeserving spouse who is being supported by someone else.