Posted By Fair Cadora, APC
Cohabitation, or living together in a long-term relationship as though you were married, is growing more common. Between the high costs of living and relaxed social stigmas on living together before getting married, many couples often choose to get a place together before tying the knot. As a result, complex lawsuits have arisen which have begun to question whether cohabitation periods can apply to divorce agreement provisions, most notably alimony.
Cohabitation Before a Divorce
If you and your partner decide to move in together for a significant period before getting married, courts have begun to rule that spousal support must be paid after the divorce is finalized for the entire duration of the couple’s living together, including the cohabitation period. This is particularly true of cohabitation periods of several years or more.
Normally during this period, the couple will acquire more assets and wealth, change employment, and have other factors influence their income and quality of life. If the couple then decides to marry and divorce, the judge will most likely rule that the start of the cohabitation period will be the date used to determine alimony payments, not the start of the marriage. This is because the receiving spouse may have made decisions regarding their career and employment as a result of moving in together that can negatively impact them now that they are divorced.
Cohabitation After a Divorce
In California, the law states that if the receiving spouse begins cohabitating after a divorce, then they are presumed to have a decreased need for spousal support. There are ways to prove that your ex is cohabitating as well, including receiving their mail at their new partner’s address, combining bank accounts, having a child with their new partner, and more.
When this is the case and you wish to modify your alimony obligation, you can request a modification or even full termination of your requirement. It’s important that you keep up your obligation until this motion is passed; if your motion is denied you could potentially be found in contempt. Instead, you can request that your modification be applied retroactively to the date that the motion was originally filed.
If you need assistance with a cohabitation or any other family law matter, the San Diego divorce attorneys at Fair Cadora, APC may be able to assist you. We have a passion for people and we strive to put the law on the side of all of our clients using our considerable experience and legal knowledge. Our attorneys have even received some of the industry’s highest accolades; Attorney Fair has been named a Bar Certified Family Law Specialist, and Attorney Cadora has served as a temporary judge in the San Diego Superior Court.
Call Fair Cadora, APC today at (619) 432-3555 and receive a free 30-minute confidential consultation to find out more about cohabitation or any other family law issue.