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Cohabitation risks for alimony receiving spouses

When a couple decides to divorce, finances and child welfare often become part of the package. Child and spousal support are typically combined when divorcing in New Mexico and other parts of the country. Naturally, former spouses may enter new relationships. In many cases, because they receive financial support from a previous spouse, they are inclined to hide a new relationship in efforts to continually receive their court-appointed alimony.

When the paying ex-partner contemplates terminating their alimony obligations and suspects their previous spouse of cohabitation, solid proof will have to be obtained before starting any legal proceedings. There are various ways of collecting the evidence, and they may include social media postings, bank records proving the accounts have been jointly created as well as telephone records. Simple signs such as frequent overnight stays and even clothing permanently left at a residence can be evidence of cohabitation.

One of the most effective ways to prove cohabitation is hiring a private investigator. Although costly at first, this method may produce the most valid documentation and evidence and end the financial responsibility for the paying spouse. The alimony recipient frequently may implement drastic measures such as withholding pertinent information, concealing their incomes or other evidence of cohabitation.

It is important to review the terms of the divorce and alimony agreements before beginning any allegation process. Spousal support requirements can often be met without any significant burden to the payer, especially within the families with prenuptial agreements or amicably approached divorces. The cost involved in completing the case may well exceed the money paid in alimony. Becoming well educated about the process should be considered by all parties involved.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How to Evaluate if Cohabitation Has Placed Alimony at Risk", Diane Danois, March 21, 2014

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