Cohabitation could affect Massachusetts alimony payments

After a divorce, it is not unlikely that a Massachusetts resident may have to pay spousal support to their ex-spouse. Alimony is often rewarded to parties who may be the most negatively affected by a divorce situation. However, there are certain issues that could arise that could lead to the end of alimony payments for certain individuals.

Some of the most common reasons that a party may no longer have to pay alimony are if a death or remarriage occurs. However, there are also other points of contention that could lead to a halt in payments, such as cohabitation. If a recipient of alimony payments is considered to be in a “marriage-like” relationship in which the party resides with another individual and shares financial and other household aspects, the alimony that they have possibly been receiving could be stopped or reduced.

If an alimony payor believes that the recipient is participating in a cohabitation situation, that individual may wish to have payments modified. However, proving that the recipient is, in fact, cohabitating may be more difficult to prove. A spouse accused of living in a marriage-like relationship and situation could potentially deny that the circumstances are true.

If an alimony payor suspects cohabitation, that party may wish to assess the situation to determine whether moving forward with legal action might be right for the situation. Information on Massachusetts state laws concerning alimony could provide beneficial knowledge on how such circumstances may be treated. Seeking alimony modifications could have a significant impact on each party, and therefore, being prepared could prove helpful.

Source: The Huffington Post, How to Evaluate if Cohabitation Has Placed Alimony at Risk, Diane L. Danois, J.D., March 21, 2014

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