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Can spousal support be stopped in the face of cohabitation?

When getting divorced in Michigan, husbands and wives must sort out numerous issues. Divorce settlements frequently need to outline specifics regarding the separation of marital assets and liabilities, a monthly payment amount for alimony or child support, child visitation schedules and more. The income of each person and his or her ability to earn a living can contribute to the ultimate determination of financial support from one spouse to the other.

Spousal support modification can sometimes take place after an initial settlement has been reached and implemented. Changes may make such action appropriate. In some divorce cases, the remarriage of the party who receives alimony can initiate this type of change. When the receiving spouse does not remarry, however, but instead cohabitates with a new partner, the ability to amend any support award is not quite as clear.

People on both sides of these situations have needs to be considered. For the paying spouse, any wish to reduce or terminate payments will require proof that the other spouse is truly in a financially and socially intertwined relationship with another person. The support recipient, on the other hand, may need to prove no such relationship exists or that the need for support still remains. A look at living expenses, a standard of living and overall lifestyle and activities is typically part of this process.

Handling post-divorce modifications can be tricky. Before getting too involved, it may be wise to talk to a family law attorney to help assess the situation with a former spouse.

Source: Huffington Post, “He Said/She Said: How to Demonstrate Cohabitation in an Alimony Dispute,” Diane L. Danois, J.D., February 21, 2014

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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