Per the 2014 statute, a court may suspend or terminate alimony if the payee cohabitates with another person. Pursuant to the law, cohabitation involves an intimate, mutually supportive personal relationship in which a couple has undertaken privileges and duties that are commonly associated with marriage or civil union, but does not necessarily maintain a single common household.
When assessing whether cohabitation is occurring or not, the court will consider the following:
(1) Intertwined finances, including joint bank accounts and other joint liabilities or holdings;
(2) Sharing or joint responsibility for living expenses;
(3) Recognition of the relationship in the couple’s family and social circle;
(4) Living together, frequency of contact, duration of the relationship, and other indicia of a mutually supportive and intimate personal relationship;
(5) Sharing in household chores;
(6) Whether the recipient of alimony received an enforceable promise of support from another person within the meaning of subsection h. of R.S.25:1-5 (“palimony”); and
(7) All other relevant evidence.
In evaluating whether cohabitation is occurring and if alimony should be terminated or suspended, the court will also consider the length of the relationship. A court may not find an absence of cohabitation solely on the grounds that the couple does not live together on a full-time basis.