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Have you been ordered to pay alimony as part of your divorce settlement? Alimony, also known as spousal support, is necessary for some people. Alimony is paid above child support and helps the low-earning spouse reach their daily living expenses, but some people try to take advantage of the law and commit spousal support fraud.
Until recently, reducing or stopping alimony payments was difficult in the State of New Jersey. But in 2014, the state passed a bill that implemented long-overdue changes to the Alimony Law that leveled the playing field as it relates to cohabitation. Per the new law, even if the one receiving alimony is in a relationship with someone who maintains a separate residence, it is still possible to prove cohabitation and revoke the alimony you have paid as a violation of the divorce agreement.
If you suspect your ex-spouse is committing spousal support fraud, our investigators can help. Our team of veteran investigators can collect HD Video, background documentation, and court admissible evidence to help reduce – or stop – alimony payments.
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.