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Co-habitation & spousal support

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Markone posted 1/24/2014 14:23 PM

Background - first marriage ended in divorce (no infidelity). Paid spousal support for 8 years - a couple of years into it XW moved her boyfriend in, he tried to become my kids "real Dad" and all the while he worked part time because my support was enough for them to both live on. They even bought wedding rings to portray themselves as "married" and therefore avoid invoking the termination of spousal support.

Yeah, it's a sensitive topic but thankfully all over now (and he's gone too).

Fast forward to current divorce process with WW. My attorney is drafting the settlement proposal and has rightly included that upon death or remarriage the spousal support to WW terminates. Has anyone also included language around cohabitation too? I've read that it is tough to do because it's difficult to determine what cohabitation actually is (vs. say just a room-mate).

But I thought I'd turn to the wise people here for suggestions..thanks!

Pentup posted 1/24/2014 14:31 PM

Believe it is available in some states. Have a friend going to court over that now and has tthat lingo in there. Vacations together was one of the hallmarks of cohabiting vs. roommates. I am not a lawyer so ...

need_hope posted 1/24/2014 14:36 PM

My understanding is that cohabitation is typically included in the wording - at least around here. But, I specifically told my L to leave it out and WXH L never caught it or challenged that it was missing.

If the situation were reversed, and I, as the betrayed spouse, was the one paying spousal support I would have insisted that it be put in. Sure, you'd probably need to provide proof of their "relationship" but I would think that public displays of affection would be fairly easy to capture - not to mention that they'll probably have their status posted on Facebook for the world to see.

Undefinabl3 posted 1/24/2014 14:45 PM

Has anyone also included language around cohabitation too? I've read that it is tough to do because it's difficult to determine what cohabitation actually is (vs. say just a room-mate).

Yes, my Aunt and Uncle did this. It was more him then her though. She was paid spousal support and he was a dick about his money, so she was not allowed to live with another non-related male or she would loose the support.

It was not an issue for her. She was older and had absolutely no desire (and still doesnt 15 years later) to date or marry.

newlysingle posted 1/24/2014 14:56 PM

I don't know, but I'm fairly certain that my divorce decree states marriage is the only way support would end.

Catwoman posted 1/24/2014 17:32 PM

Cohabitation is not in my decree's language with regards to spousal support.

I think you would need some good third party evidence to prove it, such as utility bills in someone's name or joint bank accounts. But I am not an attorney, so I don't know.


inconnu posted 1/24/2014 17:43 PM

I'm pretty sure my divorce agreement included termination of spousal support if I cohabitated. (it's been a while since I looked at it. I probably really should re-read it. lol)
Definitely terminated if I remarried, but I only got spousal support for 2 years, and had no plans to remarry in that time frame, anyway. And it was a short enough time, with a decent amount of support, that it would have been worth postponing cohabitation, if that had been an issue.

I'm really not sure if cohabitation was defined in the agreement, though.

cmego posted 1/24/2014 18:11 PM

Depends on the state (if you are in the US). Your lawyer should be up on what is typical for your state.

In Virginia, if you 'co-habitate' for 1 year, then SS ends. But you have to be able to prove the cohabitation…bills, vacations, taxes can all be used to prove cohabitation.

I included verbiage about not having "any other adult" stay the night at the house without my approval. Generally called a morality clause. The biggest problem with morality clauses is you will also be held under the expectation…and they are not legally enforceable. As we all know, morality isn't generally a legal concern.

peridot posted 1/25/2014 01:04 AM

I just looked at my decree. Mine didn't say anything about marriage or cohabitation. It was only for 2 years though.

Damn, I could have gotten married or lived in sin!

stronger08 posted 1/25/2014 07:06 AM

Personally I thought about this myself. But as I only had to pay SS for a year and said fuck it. At the time it kind of infuriated me that my XWW was with a loser and dreamer. You know the type, late forties, underemployed, still waiting to make it big in his fantasy career. (In my case he was trying to be the comic book king of the northeast) He was not the original OM, but I just did not like the lazy ass bum. And my XWW is not past buying affection and attention. She loves to portray herself as a person with money and buys expensive gifts then worries about paying the bill afterwards. Anyhow I was talking to a D friend of mine who's Ex was unofficially living with some guy. Same type of scenario dude was a bum sponging off his Ex and he had a no cohabitating agreement as well. I asked him how come he does not get annoyed that his money goes towards supporting this asshole ? He told me that at first it did, but the time, money and effort to prove this guy lived there was just a hassle. The dude had all his bills going to his mothers house so getting evidence was impossible. She could just say he her fiancé and spends the night on occasion. He went on to tell me his lawyer gave him some good advice and he passed it along to me. He said to look at SS like any other bill. It needs to be paid and she can do whatever she wants with the money. When you get an electric bill do you ask the electric company what they do with the money ? Of course not, and that's the attitude you need to take. He had the further issue that she still lived in the marital home until the kids grew up. So basically he was still paying the mortgage where this dude was living. But that the guy cut the lawn and kept the place up so it was like having a live in handyman. When the kids were out he would sell the place and get his half. It was a long term investment in his eyes. And the best part of it all was that the BF was now the target of her rants and raves. And that alone was worth every penny. I kind of got the point and did the same thing. You get the picture here.

macakipa posted 1/25/2014 08:21 AM

Markone, my XH wanted a clause placed in the decree about ceasing SS if remarried or co-habitating. I refused just on the basis of the irony of my co-habitating based on his actions for the past 12 years.

My attorney retained the clause about remarrying only and XH and his attorney relented.

Merlin posted 1/25/2014 08:44 AM

A no-cohabitation clause is in my divorce decree. It's pretty standard stuff, at least in NJ where I live.

Be aware though that co-habitation is difficult to prove in court and normally has some broad standards like 180 days living together.

Best to discuss it with your attorney.

Markone posted 1/25/2014 08:53 AM

Thank you everyone for your replies!

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