iandoli & edens, llc

New Love. Old Alimony.

            As we discussed last week alimony is subject to modification based upon changed circumstances.  Often the changed circumstance is a new relationship.  Do new relationships affect alimony?  As with so many issues in family law the answer is:  Maybe.

The supporting spouse entering into a new relationship does not affect alimony. The dependent spouse entering into a new relationship might – depending upon the seriousness of the relationship.  A dating relationship or even an engagement should not affect alimony.  However, co-habitation would.

“Alimony may be suspended or terminated if the payee cohabits with another person. Cohabitation involves a mutually supportive, intimate personal relationship in which a couple has undertaken duties and privileges that are commonly associated with marriage or civil union but does not necessarily maintain a single common household.”   N.J.S.A.2A:34-23(n)

The Court when determining whether or not cohabitation is occurring considered several factors:
(1)Intertwined finances such as joint bank accounts and other joint holdings or liabilities;

(2)Sharing or joint responsibility for living expenses;

(3)Recognition of the relationship in the couple’s social and family circle;

(4)Living together, the frequency of contact, the duration of the relationship, and other indicia of a mutually supportive intimate personal relationship;

(5)Sharing household chores;

(6)Whether the recipient of alimony has received an enforceable promise of support from another person within the meaning of subsection h. of R.S.25:1-5; and

(7)All other relevant evidence.  N.J.S.A.2A:34-23(n)(1-7)

Another factor the Court may consider is the length of the relationship. The Court can find cohabitation even if the new couple do not live together on a full-time basis.

If you have any questions regarding alimony and how it relates to your case we are available to discuss your concerns with you, please call our firm at 908-879-9499.