If you were the primary income earner in your marital home in Alabama, then you may not have an issue with paying support to your ex-spouse as they transition into their post-marital life. Such support should help carry them to the point of securing gainful employment or remarrying, at which point (in either case), they should be able to support themselves.
What you do not want, however, is for your ex-spouse to take advantage of you. Many come to us here at Jones, Hawkins & Associates with the same concern. One way they might attempt to do this is to avoid remarrying (even after entering into another serious romantic relationship), believing that doing so will keep you obligated to pay alimony. Yet is that truly the case?
The effect of cohabitation on your alimony obligation
Should your ex-spouse choose to cohabitate with a new partner, that still does not necessarily mean that they are not in a supportive relationship. Indeed, according to Section 30-2-55 of Alabama’s Marital and Domestic Relations Code, cohabitation serves to end an alimony obligation given that the recipient now receives support from their new domestic partner.
Who does the burden of proof fall to?
Yet the mere fact that your ex-spouse lives with a new partner may not necessarily mean that the court considers their new situation cohabitation. Rather, the burden of proof typically falls to you to prove that they are in a supportive relationship. Evidence that shows this may include:
- The degree to which your ex-spouse and their new partner comingle their finances
- Whether your ex-spouse and their new partner made any significant purchases together
- If your ex-spouse’s new partner pays their utility and living expenses
You can find more information on managing your alimony obligation throughout our site.