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Proving cohabitation in an alimony dispute

Alimony, much like child support, is rarely static. An arrangement that made sense at the time of divorce may no longer be viable months or years later. Oftentimes, it is necessary for a modification – either raising or lowering the amount owed in monthly payments – or, in some cases, terminating the alimony arrangement altogether may prove necessary. When it comes time to attempt the modification or termination of an alimony arrangement, it is helpful for Arkansas residents to know what rights they have.

One dispute that may cause divorced couples to pursue the modification or termination of an alimony arrangement is when one party is suspected of cohabitating. When an ex-spouse begins cohabitating with a new partner, this new arrangement may be in violation of the alimony argreement and the other party may be able to attempt to pursue a claim for termination.

There are various ways to gather evidence that can help prove cohabitation and strengthen one party’s claim. First, there is always social media to consider. If the ex-spouse posts photographs or messages that point to cohabitation, this may be valuable evidence. There are also changes in financial habits. If the ex-spouse begins buying expensive products, this may point to extra availability of cash due to finances from the new partner. Any evidence that shows the ex-spouse is receiving financial support from a new partner and is no longer in need of alimony can help strengthen the case.

As with most family law issues, the legalities involved can be quite complex. It is important to be aware of these complexities and how they factor into each case. With a thorough understanding of the laws involved, it is possible to build a strong modification or termination claim and maximize the chances of a favorable outcome.

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

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