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Alimony and Cohabitation

Philip C. Puglisi, Esq., a Bergen County and North Jersey Divorce Lawyer, wants the payor of alimony to be aware of a recent case regarding a change in circumstance as it relates to cohabitation and alimony.  A divorcee whose live-in-boyfriend perked up the ex-wife’s lifestyle can affect her alimony.

Gifts and Luxuries Create an Economic Benefit

A divorcee’s plush lifestyle provided by her paramour can be considered when her ex seeks an alimony reduction, a State Appeals Court held recently.  The Appellate Division, in Reese v. Weis, A-5557-10, turned aside arguments that the gifts and luxuries lavished by the woman’s live-in-lover were outside the equation.  “We reject this view and hold that the provision of emoluments, which enhance a dependent spouse’s lifestyle, also equate to a tangible economic benefit from the new living arrangement,” the panel held.

Cohabitation May Result in the Modification or Termination of Alimony

At issue in this matter is whether defendant received a substantial economic benefit as a result of her cohabitation, such that alimony should be terminated.  The Court concluded that the inquiry regarding whether an economic benefit arises in the context of cohabitation must consider not only the actual financial assistance resulting from the new relationship, but also other enhancements to the dependent spouse’s standard of living that directly result from cohabitation.  “The court also finds that a trial judge’s exercise of discretion when determining whether to modify or terminate alimony may properly evaluate the duration of the new relationship and assess its similarities to the fidelity associated with marriage.”

Bergen County and New Jersey divorce attorney, Philip C. Puglisi, Esq., says that payors should see an attorney if they are in a similar circumstance or if they seek a modification or termination of alimony.

Philip C. Puglisi, Esq., has been practicing family law for just under 40 years.  He is extremely competent, diligent, and experienced handling an extensive variety of family law matters from the simple to the complex.  He encourages you to call the the Law Offices of Philip C. Puglisi, LLC at 201-431-8400 for a free consultation.

Posted in Alimony