So, you’ve been ordered to pay alimony. The financial burden can be significant, and you may not feel like your spouse is deserving of the support that you’re paying. As a result, you may be looking for a way out of your support obligation. Is there a way to free yourself of this responsibility?
Maybe. It depends on the circumstances of your case. If you negotiated a divorce settlement, then the terms of your alimony obligation should be in those documents. Those terms very well may specify that spousal support ends upon death, remarriage, or cohabitation. If you ended up litigating your divorce, then the court may have specified when the obligation is to cease.
Proving your former spouse’s cohabitation
One way to try to end your alimony order is to show that spousal support is no longer necessary because your former spouse is cohabitating with someone else. This can be tricky fact to prove, but successfully doing so can make a huge difference in your case. Here are a few ways that you can go about proving cohabitation:
- Scan social media for evidence that your former spouse is living with someone new.
- Determine where your spouse is going after work and from which residence he or she leaves for work.
- Try to figure out whose name is on the lease or the mortgage at the new residence.
- Assess other financial records such as utility and cell phone bills to see who is responsible for paying them.
- Obtain phone and email communications that show a relationship between your spouse and a new love interest that includes cohabitation.
Gathering the evidence that you need
Of course, obtaining some of this evidence may be difficult, and when done in the wrong ways, it can even be abusive. It’s important to speak to a lawyer about how to take the proper investigatory steps. It may seem daunting, but with so much money on the line, you owe it to yourself to be thorough and build the best arguments you can to try to stop unwarranted spousal support payments.