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Are you tired of a former spouse demanding alimony payments when you know they are living with someone else? Investigate Carolinas, LLC can obtain the proof you need to stop paying alimony.  The information and evidence we obtain will adhere to the law in both North and South Carolina. Retaining our services is an investment in your future—it will save you money in the long term.

What is Cohabitation?

First and foremost, cohabitation means that the dependent spouse and the new significant other are in a “private” or monogamous relationship.

Second, the dependent spouse and significant other must be dwelling together “continuously and habitually.” This means more than occasionally spending the night together, but that they are living together under the same roof and have begun to merge their households. An indication of this would be where the dependent spouse and new love interest both signed the lease, or both their names are on the utility bills. There have been several North Carolina Court of Appeals cases where the Court found no cohabitation occurred since the new beau had a separate residence that they used as a base of operations.

Lastly, there must be a mutual voluntary assumption of marital rights, duties, and obligations. This means that the dependent spouse and the new beau are doing things that married couples normally do. Some previous North Carolina cases have given examples of mowing the yard, taking the other party’s car for an oil change, letting repairers into the home during work hours, and taking family vacations with the children as examples of marital duties.

As a parting point, it is important to note that sex alone is not enough to prove cohabitation. What the court is looking for is evidence that the dependent spouse is in a relationship that is serious and committed enough to rise to the level of marriage, but the dependent spouse is avoiding remarrying to keep the alimony check coming in. In the second part of this series, we will examine how to prove cohabitation to the court.

How to prove cohabitation
  • Photos, videos, or other evidence that they are living together and spending the evenings together;
  • Evidence that they both receive mail at the same address, such as, but not limited to the following; driver’s license, car registration, voter’s registration, bank accounts, bank loans, credit cards, etc.
  • Evidence that they take vacations together;
  • Any other proof that they have a marriage-type relationship;
  • Your ex and his or her partner are in a romantic or sexual relationship;
  • Both your ex and his or her partner keep their clothes in the same home;
  • Your ex and his or her partner socialize as a couple;
  • Your ex and his or her partner attend family gathers together;
  • Your ex and his or her partner share household expenses, vehicles etc.;
  • Evidence showing your ex and his or her partner running errands together;
  • Evidence showing your ex and his or her partner attending youth sports events together and dropping off or picking up the children from school;
  • Your ex’s partner locking and unlocking their residential door with their own key, and opening and closing the garage door with their own garage door opener;
  • Your ex’s partner parking their vehicle in the same garage;
  • Evidence that shows your ex’s partner conducting household work at the same residence;
  • Scanning various social media platforms. More and more, we are finding social media to be a goldmine of relevant information for our clients. We systematically collect and analyze data from dozens of social media, open web, deep web and archived websites and compile it into an easily readable report. We recently hit a home run when we uncovered a photo on his Instagram page showing the happy couple in her living room unpacking his stuff with the caption: “Move-In Day!”

Witnesses who can testify to your ex-spouse’s relationship can also help you prove cohabitation.

Termination or Modification of Alimony

North Carolina courts always have the ability to modify alimony. Either spouse can ask the court to modify or terminate alimony by filing a motion to modify alimony in the county district court clerk’s office.

After you file a motion to modify alimony, the court will schedule a hearing where both spouses must appear. The spouse asking for a change or termination of alimony will need to prove that one or both spouses’ financial circumstances have changed significantly, to the point that it warrants a change in alimony. You should gather any evidence of the change in your income or your ex-spouse’s income, as well as any changes in your basic needs and expenses.

You can avoid going to court for a modification of alimony hearing if you and your ex-spouse can agree to modify alimony yourselves. If you and your ex-spouse come to an agreement, put it in writing, sign it, and submit it to the court for approval.

For a free consultation contact us at 704-721-6306.

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