Trying to prove that your ex-spouse is cohabiting with another individual and that he or she no longer needs alimony? Here is what you should initially know:
Procedurally, “where a prima facie showing of cohabitation is made out by the supporting spouse, there is a rebuttable presumption which shifts the burden of proof to the alleged cohabiting spouse, to show that there is no actual economic benefit being received. Ozolins v. Ozolins, 308 N.J. Super. 243, 245 (App. Div. 1998); Grossman v. Grossman, 128 N.J. Super. 193, 197 (Ch. Div. 1974); Frantz v. Frantz, 256 N.J. Super. 90, 92 (1992). This is appropriate as the “cohabiting party and paramour hold all the resources, as well as the, financial and social/sexual information necessary for the court to make a finding regarding cohabitation and whether . . . support should be eliminated.” Id. at 62. “It would be unreasonable to place the burden of proof on a party not having access to the evidence necessary to support that burden of proof.” Id.
What this means, in basic terms, is that when you first go to court, you need to make sure you are prepared to show that cohabitation is occurring. You also need to make sure that the “motion,” which is the application you are filing with the court, is prepared properly, or your matter may be dismissed. It is important to consult with an attorney who regularly handles applications to modify or terminate alimony.