If you’re paying alimony to your former spouse, you know the financial challenges that those payments can bring. Although a change in circumstances may justify a modification in a support amount to be paid, you’ll need to be able to prove to a court why it should change the order that’s already in place. That can be a tall order, especially if the justification for your request is that your former spouse is now cohabitating with someone else.
Yet, you’ll want to be as thorough as you can in building your case pertaining to your former spouse’s cohabitation. After all, if your former spouse is receiving support from someone else, you shouldn’t have to provide support.
So how do you go about proving cohabitation?
If you’re hoping to prove cohabitation, you’ll want to take a comprehensive approach to your legal argument. That includes digging deeper into each of the following:
- Where is your former spouse actually living? Your former spouse might be trying to hide cohabitation so that alimony payments continue. They may do this by retaining their own residence while actually staying with a new love interest. So, try to determine where your former spouse is actually spending most of their time. You might be able to do this by talking to neighbors.
- Who is actually paying the bills? If you can, it’s extremely helpful to figure out who is paying your former spouse’s bills. This can include everything from groceries and utilities to car payments and rent. If a new love interest is footing the bill for any of these expenses, you have a stronger argument for cohabitation.
- What does social media show? Social media posts can paint a telling picture. If you can still view your former spouse’s social media pages, you might be able to better gauge if they are in a new relationship. If you find posts that serve as strong evidence, consider taking screen shots so that you can later present those to the court if needed.
- What are your children saying? If you share parenting time with your former spouse and they are in a cohabitation relationship, your children are probably be aware of it. Therefore, asking them about their time with the other parent can be highly informative. Just make sure that you’re not pressuring your children in a way that is detrimental to them, and don’t use them as pawns in your investigation.
Gaining access to key information can be difficult. But that’s where legal assistance may prove beneficial. An attorney can help you pose written questions, known as interrogatories, to your former spouse, and other discovery methods can get you access to otherwise difficult to locate documents. By becoming informed through these legal maneuvers, you may better position yourself to make the strong legal arguments necessary to modify your spousal support obligation.
Are you ready to fight for a just outcome?
Your spousal support obligation can financially hinder you for a long time to come. If those payments aren’t warranted, though, you need to take action to try to bring them to a stop.
An attorney who has handled these matters before can assist you in developing the persuasive legal arguments that you need. So, if you think that you could benefit from that kind of advocacy, we encourage you to reach out to a legal team that you think is right for you.