In many Morris County divorces, alimony is a key component of the divorce settlement agreement. Alimony is determined by a number of different factors, including the duration of the marriage, the lifestyle the couple enjoyed during the marriage, and both spouse's income and earning potential. However, some of these factors can change after the alimonyagreement is signed, and may allow either the dependent spouse or the supporting spouse to petition for an alimony modification.
One such factor which would allow for a modification of an alimony agreement is when the supported spouse begins sharing their finances with another adult, known in legal terms as "cohabitation". If a dependent spouse begins cohabiting with another adult, it signifies that they are no longer as financially dependent as they used to be, and would allow for the supporting party along with their Chester alimony attorney to petition for a reduction in their alimony payments.
What is "Cohabitation"?
Under the New Jersey Alimony Reform Act, a supporting spouse may petition for alimony modification when the dependent party is cohabiting with another adult. An alimony modification court will consider the following factors when deciding whether or not the dependent spouse is indeed cohabiting:
- The dependent spouse is sharing living expenses with another adult
- The frequency of contact between the cohabiting adults
- Whether their relationship is recognized by friends and family
- The length of the relationship
- Whether the couple shares household chores and expenses
- Whether there is a promise of financial support involved in the relationship
Keep in mind that not all of these factors need to be true in order for the relationship to qualify as cohabitation, and thus call for an alimony modification. Additionally, the couple does not necessarily need to live together in order for it to be considered cohabitation.
Reducing Alimony Payments based on Cohabitation Attorney Chester, NJ
When it comes to modifying and reducing the alimony payments of the supporting party when the dependent spouse is found to be cohabiting with another adult, there is no clear formula for exactly how much the alimony payments will change. Each case is different, with many different factors for a judge to consider. Alimony payments are also much more variable than something like child support, and New Jersey alimony courts have a great deal of discretion when deciding alimony payments or alimony modifications.
The best option for anyone wishing to modify their alimony payments based on a changed circumstance such as cohabitation is to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Morris County alimony attorney. Your alimony attorney can help give you a clearer picture on exactly what kind of modification you can expect based on the specific circumstances of your case, and should you wish to proceed, help you gather the necessary financial information and evidence supporting your claim of cohabitation in order to obtain the best possible alimony modification result.
Contact a Chatham Alimony Modification Attorney Today
At The Law Office of Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Bradley, we have extensive experience helping clients across Chatham, Chester, Mendham, Harding, and the greater Morris County area to successfully modify their alimony payments based on a variety of factors, including cohabitation.
By practicing exclusively family law, our firm and attorneys can focus on the matters most important to you, and provide you with experienced, informed, and effective legal counsel for any matter affecting you and your family, including alimony modifications.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation with our firm today in order to discuss your potential alimony modification, please contact us online or through our Morristown office at 973.975.4043.