Cohabitation and Alimony in the US

by Valery Turyshev, Paralegal Student, Centennial College


How Cohabitation Impacts Alimony Payments By Scott Stadler, P.A. 


This article was written by a divorce and family Law Attorney Scott Stadle, who works  in Broward and Palm Beach counties, US. The author raises a very interesting issue in this article. How an amount of alimony is receiving by a former spouse from his or her ex spouse may be changed or eliminated by court if this spouse is cohabitating with a new partner. According to the lawyer this issue was determined in the court decision  when a former husband tried to repeal a court order that obliged him to pay S5000 a month to his ex spouse. His petition was based on a fact of his ex wife’s marriage. However, the court denied his petition because  the mock marriage was staged at Las Vegas Wedding Weekend. The marriage certificate was not given to his ex wife because it was not a legal marriage.


This law, originally proposed in 2005, has it’s roots from this case. The purpose of law is to determine whether a “supportive relationship” exists that includes the fact of contributing financially the person who receiving alimony and by that the living expenses are reduced.  The author enumerates several legal factors which  are taken into consideration by court when this legal case is filed by a former spouse.   For example,   have the former spouse and companion treated themselves out as a married couple by using the same last name, a common mailing address, calling each other in terms such as “my husband” or “my wife,” or in a manner that supports a permanent supportive relationship and other factors.


The lawyer concludes in his article that cohabitation can change alimony payments. This obligation to pay alimony is effective until it is changed by a court decision.



How Cohabitation Impacts Alimony Payments

  By Scott Stadler, P.A., online ,

About the Author

Paralegal Student
Communications Students.

2 Comments on "Cohabitation and Alimony in the US"

  1. Hermione Shou | June 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm |

    While I understand that divorce is a serious topic, I found it funny that his ex-wife held a mock wedding that looked like it was a real Las Vegas Wedding Weekend adventure. In fact, it’s not just funny, but brilliant! What a stylish way to bypass having a legal marriage and getting a marriage certificate! This worked to her advantage as she was able to make her new relationship public while still maintaining the requirements to receive alimony payment from her ex-husband.

    Well… He may have not found the right partner for life, but I have to admit he found a pretty smart one!

  2. Pagan E Cheung | June 6, 2014 at 7:10 pm |

    Valery, the ironic humor as outlined in the facts of the 2005 case does not escape the reader. It is clearly a case of where both parties did not go to court with “clean hands.” The actions of the said wife can be construed as deceit to retain her $5,000 alimony payments by staging a “mock” wedding and the ex-husband seeks a valid reason to escape performance on his Divorce Settlement Agreement.

    What if under a diverging scenario, the live-in boyfriend did not realize that it was in fact, a “mock” wedding? In such a situation, the live-in boyfriend will be regarded in terms of U.S. Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act as “a putative spouse” under the Principle of the Putative Spouse Doctrine whereby one or more parties enters a marriage in good faith and did not know that it was in fact a void marriage due to some illegality. In such a situation, the boyfriend or mock husband will be entitled to the same legal rights as a “real” husband.

    Thanks for the enjoyable summary.

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