There are times when the court may order a higher-earning spouse to provide financial assistance to a spouse of lesser means in the aftermath of a divorce. In cases when permanent alimony is awarded, these payments are supposed to end when either spouse dies, the supported spouse remarries, or when the supported spouse cohabits with someone else for a certain amount of time. At the Elliott Frazier Law Firm, our Greenville divorce attorneys want to discuss what happens if you think your former spouse is living with someone else but you are still paying alimony.
Cohabitation while receiving alimony
If you are paying alimony on a monthly basis (periodic alimony), you will undoubtedly be upset if you learn that your former spouse is cohabitating with somebody else. For the purposes of South Carolina law, cohabitating in this situation means two people living together in a romantic relationship. If your former spouse cohabitates with another person for 90 days or more, this should signal the end of your responsibility for paying alimony.
If you are paying alimony and your former spouse is cohabitating with another person, you need to file in motion with the court to terminate the alimony. You cannot simply decide to terminate payments without going through the court. However, you will need to provide proof of the cohabitation to the court. The court will look at evidence such as:
- shared vehicles
- shared expenses
- bills for both individuals going to the same house
With help from your attorney, you may be able to gather public records, social media activity, and witness statements to help prove cohabitation. In some situations, it may be necessary to hire a private investigator to help gather the necessary evidence. If this seems concerning, like something out of a TV show, please understand that this is not usually that dramatic. Rather, this is a routine action taken by professionals in order to ensure you are treated fairly and are not paying someone alimony when they do not need it.
Contact an attorney today
If you are paying alimony to your former spouse, but you believe they are cohabitating with somebody else, contact the Elliott Frazier Law Firm immediately. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will ensure you are treated fairly. We will work with you to prove your former spouse’s cohabitation so we can get the alimony terminated. You can contact our Greenville divorce attorney for a consultation today so we can plan your next steps forward together.