Cohabitation is when the spouse is residing with his or her significant other. In California, If a spouse that is receiving spousal support is cohabitating with someone, then the supporting spouse or the payor of the spousal support may seek to terminate or modify support based on this. It is important to note that cohabitation is not simply a roommate relationship, rather a personal romantic relationship.
Impact of Cohabitation on Alimony
If the supporting spouse is proven to be in a cohabitating personal relationship, the burden of proof to show that the spouse needs support changes such that the supporting spouse will need to prove to the court that they still require spousal support despite the cohabitation.
Steps to Prove Cohabitation
If the supporting spouse is denying the cohabitation, discovery may need to be propounded in order to gain insight as to the financials of the supported spouse. For example, discovery will assist in determining whether the supported spouse is on title with another person at their place of residence, whether both the supporting spouse and the other individual are on utility bills, whether they share credit cards or bank statements. This will assist the supporting party in establishing his or her case that the supported is cohabitating.
Additionally, the court will not consider the income of the person that the supporting spouse is residing with. If the court finds that there is still some need for support, the court may consider modifying support. However, if there are no proven needs for support, the Court may order a termination of support.
If you have any questions regarding spousal support, please do not hesitate to send us an email or give us a call.