My Ex is Cohabitating. Can I Stop Paying Alimony Now?If you are struggling under the burden of paying alimony to your former spouse, it is not a good feeling when you discover that he or she is now living with a new partner and that your hard-earned cash is supporting their lifestyle. In Tennessee, alimony is intended to provide financial support to the other spouse to help them maintain a certain standard of living after the divorce. Usually, the alimony payments end upon the remarriage of the other spouse. However, your spouse’s cohabitation with a new partner does not automatically end your alimony obligation. The terms of your alimony payments are explained in your divorce agreement. In order to find out where you stand, you might want to schedule some time to talk with your divorce attorney.

There are several different kinds of alimony arrangements in a Tennessee divorce

Whether or not a spouse’s cohabitation with a new partner, or their remarriage will have an impact on alimony depends on the type of spousal support in question.

  • Rehabilitative alimony. A judge can order that rehabilitative alimony last as long as it takes for the spouse receiving the payments needs to improve their financial circumstances. This type of support will end on a specific date, or automatically when either the paying or receiving spouse dies, or according to what the alimony order dictates.
  • Periodic alimony. An order for periodic alimony will end when the spouse being supported remarries or dies, when the paying spouse dies, or the court may terminate the alimony obligation if the receiving spouse cohabitates with another partner with whom they are sharing financial support.
  • Transitional alimony. This type of alimony is temporary in nature as it is intended to help the receiving spouse to get back on their feet financially. The order ends on a specific date, or when the supported spouse dies, if they cohabitate with someone else unless they can prove that they are not giving or receiving support for that person.
  • Lump sum alimony. The obligation to pay lump sum alimony does not end because a party dies, lives with another person or remarries. It is a payment that was settled in the divorce agreement and the obligation ends when the complete payment has been made.

In order to put an end to those alimony payments, you would have to petition the court for a modification of your existing order. If you are petitioning due to your former spouse’s cohabitation, you would also need to provide evidence of the nature of their relationship. Your attorney would then enter into formal discovery, which can involve a subpoena to your ex’s landlord, the utility companies for their address, banks and mortgage companies. All of this will reveal who is paying the bills and all of the persons listed as living at that address.

Whether your alimony obligation will end simply because your ex is living with their new partner depends upon on what you and your former spouse agreed upon in the divorce settlement, and whether you can prove that they are supporting or being supported by their new partner.

If you are thinking about filing to reduce or terminate your obligation to pay spousal support, you probably have lots of questions. Please contact the law office of Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC. Our experienced Nashville divorce attorneys will guide you through the process, and will offer support and guidance for moving forward in your life.