Can cohabitation change alimony awards?

In many New Jersey divorces, spousal support awards are part of a final divorce decree. If you are the spouse who is to receive alimony, this assistance may be critical in helping you get back on your financial feet after your divorce. If you are the spouse who is ordered to pay alimony, you may be concerned about remaining current on payments and counting the months until your obligation is over.

In addition, if you must pay your former husband or wife spousal support, you should know that there are some circumstances which a spousal support modification may be warranted. This can help you if your situation changes dramatically. It can also come into play if your former spouse cohabitates with another person. On the flip side, if you receive alimony and are considering living with a new partner, you should know that your support may be affected. The National Law Review notes that New Jersey enacted the Alimony Reform Act of 2014 which outlined the parameters by which cohabitation can be defined.

Among the factors that determine cohabitation are the sharing of finances and household responsibilities as well as general recognition as a unit by friends and families. If an alimony receiving spouse is found to be cohabitating, the amount of support they receive can be reduced or even eliminated altogether. Whether alimony is cut or terminated depends on the level of need that remains once the cohabitation impact is taken into account.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about how cohabitation with another person by a spouse receiving alimony can impact alimony payments in New Jersey.