Are you among the many people who have been divorced in New Jersey and are now paying alimony, who believe that you are automatically entitled to terminate that alimony because your ex has begun “cohabiting” with a new significant other?
Unfortunately, that is not necessarily true. You must prove more—much more in fact—to justify the termination of your alimony obligation.
Demonstrating simply a common residence means nothing. Under New Jersey divorce law, you must first show an intimate, close and enduring relationship.
You must also show that the couple has undertaken duties and privileges that are commonly associated with marriage—including for example, living together, intertwined finances such as joint bank accounts, sharing living expenses and household chores, and recognition of the relationship in the couple’s social and family circle.
But you are not there yet. You must also show that your ex has economically benefited from the cohabitation.
Depending on the extent of the benefit, a New Jersey family court may conclude that your alimony should only be reduced, rather than terminated.
You should be entitled to some relief, if you can show either that the other person contributes to your ex’s support or lives with your ex without contributing. However, you must present the court with a complete picture of their financial arrangements—which requires careful preparation and marshaling of all of the relevant facts.
Salvaggio Law Group LLC devotes its entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters, including issues relating to termination of alimony. If you want to talk, please call us at 973-855-3595 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.