New Jersey Cohabitation Investigations are not divorce investigations in the literal sense but could be better described as a post divorce investigation. In September 2014, the New Jersey Legislature revised the Alimony Laws in New Jersey. In September of 2014, Governor Chris Christie signed the revisions into law.
Under the 2014 statute, the court may suspend or terminate alimony if a payee cohabitates with another person. Pursuant to the law, cohabitation involves a mutually supportive, intimate personal relationship in which a couple has undertaken duties and privileges that are commonly associated with marriage or civil union but does not necessarily maintain a single common household.
When assessing whether cohabitation is occurring, the court shall consider the following:
(1) Intertwined finances such as joint bank accounts and other joint holdings or liabilities;
(2) Sharing or joint responsibility for living expenses;
(3) Recognition of the relationship in the couple’s social and family circle;
(4) Living together, the frequency of contact, the duration of the relationship, and other indicia of a mutually supportive intimate personal relationship;
(5) Sharing household chores;
(6) Whether the recipient of alimony has 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 whether alimony should be suspended or terminated, the court shall also consider the length of the relationship. A court may not find an absence of cohabitation solely on grounds that the couple does not live together on a full-time basis.
Two of the big changes in this law were:
1- A court may not find an absence of cohabitation solely on grounds that the couple does not live together on a full-time basis (It was now possible to find cohabitation if the offending couple “kept” a bogus apartment while one of them was not really living there but actually cohabiting).
2- No more “Permanent Alimony”- There had been so much criticism about the concept of “permanent alimony”, the crux of the criticism has been that permanent alimony hinders the forward movement of the person who is being paid the “permanent alimony”. Think of it, would you really want to move on with your life, maybe get married or just move in with someone you love if you were to lose fifty thousand dollars a year when you did? Permanent alimony has often been referred to as a v”winning lottery ticket”.
For the most part, if a Client (the payor) goes to an attorney in order to get his or her alimony payments eliminated because his/her ex-spouse (payee) is cohabiting with another the lawyer will refer you to a New Jersey Private Investigator https://cowaninvestigations.com/cohabitation-investigation/. The attorney will want the New Jersey Private Investigator to obtain evidence of the cohabitation before the attorney will file a motion to end alimony. The New Jersey Private Investigator will then seek to obtain admissible evidence of cohabitation by using the guidelines listed above (1-7) as a parameter in order to gather evidence. The end goal of a New Jersey Private Investigator is to provide enough evidence of cohabitation so as to enable your attorney to prove a “Prima Facie Case” of cohabitation.
** A prima facie case is the establishment of a legally required rebuttable presumption. A prima facie case is a cause of action or defense that is sufficiently established by a party’s evidence to justify a verdict in his or her favor, provided such evidence is not rebutted by the other party.