FAMILY LAW... & MORE

How does New Jersey define cohabitation?

| Jan 13, 2021 | Divorce |

When you pay someone alimony in New Jersey, you may question whether you must continue to do so if your ex has moved on and now shares a life with someone else. Until 2014, you would have had to prove that your former spouse shared a residence with his or her new partner before you could request to stop paying alimony.

New Jersey’s Alimony Reform Act of 2014 established new guidelines with regard to what you need to prove to demonstrate cohabitation, or that your ex has intertwined his or her life with that of someone else.

Understanding the Alimony Reform Act of 2014

The Alimony Reform Act of 2014 sought to prevent divorced parties from keeping their own homes when they had new partners only so that they could continue to collect alimony. It also altered the definition of “cohabitation,” making it somewhat easier to prove.

Proving cohabitation

Under the act, you may be able to prove cohabitation even if your ex continues to maintain a home apart from that of his or her romantic partner. To do so, you must show that, for all intents and purposes, your partner is now in an intimate, mutually supportive relationship that is similar to marriage. Proving this may involve showing evidence of conjoined finances or shared household chores. It may also require proof of your ex and his or her new partner sharing financial responsibility for living expenses.

Keep in mind that, until the court determines that you no longer have to pay alimony, failing to do so could land you in legal trouble.