Potential Termination of Alimony Payments
There are five types of alimony recognized in New Jersey divorces: temporary alimony, limited duration alimony, rehabilitative alimony, permanent alimony, and reimbursement alimony. In some cases, after the divorce proceedings are over, a spouse paying alimony believes that the spouse receiving alimony payments should have the alimony terminated or reduced. One of the most common reasons the paying spouse believes this, rightly or wrongly, is because the receiving spouse cohabitates with someone else. If you need representation in connection with the potential termination of alimony payments, you can consult the Monmouth County divorce lawyers at Goldstein, Bachman & Newman.When the Potential Termination of Alimony Payments May Occur
At our firm, we often represent clients in post-divorce issues, such as the potential termination of alimony or maintenance payments. In order to obtain termination of alimony payments, the spouse seeking the order that terminates or modifies the payments must show that there are changed circumstances. The changed circumstances of either party can justify the termination or modification of alimony. The changed circumstances could include disability, illness, reduced income, the long-term unemployment of the paying spouse, or the cohabitation or marriage of the spouse receiving payments.
The ultimate determination as to whether alimony should terminate is fact-sensitive. If cohabitation is the basis for the termination request, the court will look at whether the relationship is tantamount to marriage. Living with someone in order to save money, for example, is not considered "cohabitation" for the purposes of getting alimony terminated.
Among other things, the court will consider whether the couple's relationship is recognized by family friends, whether the couple shares a common residence, and whether the couple is economically interdependent. Some people choose to cohabitate after just a month of dating, before a relationship is fully stable or similar to marriage, and this decision may not be a sound basis to terminate alimony payments.
In most cases, the court must weigh the conflicting positions of former spouses as to whether the spouse who is receiving alimony payments is deriving any economic benefit from cohabiting with a new partner. Sometimes an ex-spouse sleeps over at a new partner's house three nights a week. To the former partner, this may appear to be "cohabitation," but to the ex-spouse, who may not be sure of the new relationship and may be still paying rent on his or her old home, it may not seem like cohabitation. Usually, the spouse who seeks the termination or modification of alimony payments must present evidence about where the spouse who is receiving alimony lives. One piece of evidence in this regard is the residence listed on the receiving spouse's driver's license.Consult an Attorney in Monmouth County for a Family Law Matter
Under New Jersey law, someone who is trying to terminate an alimony obligation has the initial burden of proving that there are changed circumstances that support the change. If you are dealing with the potential termination of alimony payments or another family law matter, our Monmouth County lawyers may be able to help you. We serve individuals in Rumson, Red Bank, Old Bridge, Freehold, and Manalapan, as well as other communities across Middlesex County. Contact our attorneys at 732-967-6777 or via our online form.