Q: In NJ when paying alimony to a ex can the person doing the paying alimony be effected if they live with someone else?
In NJ when paying alimony to a ex their is the cohabitation clause that states the alimony you are paying can be reduced if the ex receiving the alimony lives with or cohabitates with a new partner. My question is can the alimony be effected by the person paying living with a new partner, it does not seem to go both ways from the law I have read and seems to only matter when the person receiving alimony cohabits. Is that correct?
Yes - because the purpose of the payment of alimony has to do with her financial dependency status as a result of the length of the marriage, the difference between your respective income settings, etc.
Think about the following example:
you were married for 15 years, during which time your wife was home taking care of the children and you were working full time earning 100,000 per year and she was working part-time making 15,000 per year and now you are paying her 21,500.00 per year in alimony for an 8-year duration, and you then decide to live with your new girlfriend, who also is only making 15,000 per year, do you really think that you have a legitimate argument to make to suggest that you cannot afford to pay your former wife her alimony for the term agreed upon because you now have a new girlfriend and the payment of alimony is impacting your life with your girlfriend?
You are correct, that cohabitation only affects the person receiving alimony. The reason for that is that if alimony is to help a divorced person maintain the marital lifestyle, then if they are cohabitating with a new partner, they are in a 2 income household again, and therefore do not need the financial assistance of the former spouse.
If you have further questions on this topic, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney who can answer questions specific to your a situation and advise on if and how you should proceed.
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A: Thank you for your question. Cohabitation is a basis to terminate or suspend alimony. There are however various factors of the stature. Therefore additional facts are necessary to better guide you. Based on your circumstances, it would be best to contact an experienced family law attorney to address your specific concerns.
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