Proving Co-Habitation to Stop Alimony in Alabama
If you’re paying alimony to your ex-spouse, it can be hard knowing that so much of your hard-earned money is going to someone you’re no longer romantically involved with. It’s even harder when you realize that your ex is living with a new partner, and you are essentially subsidizing their life together. Luckily, there are ways you can prove cohabitation in order to end alimony payments.
Not sure what your next step is when you’ve discovered that your ex is living with someone new? We can help. Call Coumanis & York at 251-336-3121 to get started.
Alabama Law Allows for Termination of Alimony
Why is it so important to prove cohabitation? Under Alabama law, spousal support will be terminated if the party receiving spousal support lives with a romantic partner. However, it’s not enough to have a suspicion or gut feeling that your ex is living with a new boyfriend or girlfriend. You must be able to prove your suspicions. There are several ways you can do this.
Public records provide a wide range of useful information when it comes to proving cohabitation. You may be able to get proof that your ex and their new partner are both registered owners of one vehicle, listed on the same utility account, or registered to vote at the same address. Even if a piece of information is considered “publicly available,” that doesn’t always mean that it’s easy to find. Your attorney will likely have an easier time finding this information than you.
Even those who are attempting to hide cohabitation (specifically to avoid losing spousal support) have a hard time ignoring the draw of social media and the opportunity to brag about a new relationship. If your ex-spouse has a public account, you may find evidence of cohabitation—pictures of them and their partner in the shared home, shared vacations, and large joint purchases. If their profile is private, you may still be able to gain access via a burner profile. However, consult your attorney before doing anything like this.
Shared Bank Accounts
This information tends to come from a private investigator, rather than from your own digging. Two people sharing a bank account is a huge piece of evidence that supports cohabitation. This may be found via bank account statements thrown out in the trash or proof of debit cards tied to the same account.
Car Parked at Ex’s House
Of course, you can’t snap a picture of a partner’s car at your ex’s house once and use that as proof of cohabitation. But if the car is parked there every night, gone during the workday, and then back in the driveway, that is a pretty clear sign of cohabitation. This type of evidence may also be useful with proof of shared car keys, leaving the home together, or kissing each other goodbye as both parties leave for work.
Engaged in Parenting Tasks
If you and your ex-spouse share children, has their new partner been involved in parenting tasks? Do they frequently do drop-off or pickup, or do they often show up at the kids’ school events? Do the children seem comfortable around them or talk about them a lot when they come home from your ex’s house?
While this isn’t proof that your ex is living with their new partner, children do tend to get more comfortable with new partners if they spend more time with them. Note, though, that this is not a reason to drill your children for information. You should never, ever use your children as a way to get information about your divorce or your issues with your ex.
How to Get the Evidence You Need
In some cases, the ex-partner will come out and admit to living with a new partner. In others, you can get the evidence you need just by observing and taking photos. However, note that conducting your own investigation can put you at risk of unintentionally doing illegal things. If you want to protect yourself and stay firmly on the legal side of the line, talk to your attorney about hiring a private investigator.
Reach Out to Coumanis & York to Get Started
If you’re looking for more specialized assistance with your family law needs, it’s time to talk to the team at Coumanis & York. You can reach us online, call our Daphne office at 251-336-3121, or call our Mobile office at 251-336-3491.
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