What If My Former Spouse Starts Living With Somebody – Do I Still Have to Pay Alimony?
Understanding How Cohabitation Affects Alimony Payments
Per the Alimony Reform Act that was passed in March 2012, alimony can be reduced if your former spouse cohabitates with someone and lives with them at least three months.
I love it when clients call and ask: “My former spouse is living with their boyfriend or their girlfriend. Do I still have to pay alimony?”
Well, it’s that cohabitation word. Let’s talk about how the law works in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, if you want to prove cohabitation for the required amount of time, you’re going to have to prove it, not just allege it. It has to be ongoing. Two nights a week of sleeping over doesn’t mean they're cohabitating.
Here are some things to think about. Is your former spouse’s garage full of his or her new friend’s stuff? It could be because they don’t have a legitimate residence. If they don’t have a legitimate residence, and if they’re storing things in a garage, and if home improvement projects are being done and the new friend is doing all the work, you've got a case. Are there pictures you can use to prove they are all acting as a family at major events like birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations? Cohabitation is a way you can terminate alimony, but you have to put on a case and have good evidence.