Recently, a New Jersey Appellate Court determined that the ex-husband of a Morris County woman must continue paying alimony to his ex-wife because she was not in fact “living with” her new boyfriend. This determination was made even though it was argued that the new boyfriend not only kept clothes at the ex-wife’s house, but that he vacationed with her and her children and even received mail at the woman’s residence.
The ex-husband had originally been seeking to modify or terminate his alimony payments – also known as spousal support – to his ex-wife because she was “cohabitating with a third-party.”
In furtherance of this argument, the ex-husband claimed his ex-wife’s boyfriend not only kept his clothes at the house, but that the boyfriend also received mail at the address – which the ex-husband claimed was verified when he looked in his ex-wife’s mailbox.
The ex-husband further attempted to verify his claims by hiring a private investigator to conduct surveillance of his ex-wife’s home. According to court filings, the investigator discovered that the boyfriend stayed overnight at the house of several occasions.
Unfortunately for the ex-husband, the court did not agree as they wrote in their opinion, “”Evidence that defendant and (her boyfriend) spend considerable time together, as people in romantic relationships often do, is not sufficient” to show they “share a marital-type relationship.”
Because of this decision, the ex-husband must keep paying alimony as laid out in the couple’s original divorce decree – which continues until 2019.
Source: The Star-Ledger, “N.J. court: Ex-husband must continue paying alimony to wife, despite her having a boyfriend,” Jeanette Rundquist, September 11, 2012
Our firm often handles situations in which ex-spouses seek to modify alimony after a significant change in their circumstances. If you would like to learn more about our divorce practice, please visit our New Jersey Modification of Alimony page.