65 Madison Ave · Suite 420 · Morristown, NJ · 07960

¡Attention TAC People!

Press 'p' on your keyboard to make this palette go away.

Max width: 1200px
Color Hex R G B
Blue from Logo#003d65 0 61 101
Darker Blue#021020 2 16 32
Red from Logo#780500 120 5 0
Darker Red#400000 64 0 0
Gray from Modern Firm Site#f3f2ed 243 242 237
Bright, Light Blue#ccebff 204 235 255
Form Input Background Blue#accfe6 172 207 230
Slightly Darker Blue#002e4d 0 46 77
Slightly Darker Gray#e6e5e0 0 46 77
Darker Gray#cccbc7 0 46 77
Lighter Logo Blue#005c99 204 235 255
Login Link Blue#598fb3 89 143 179
Slighty Lighter Red#99150f 153 21 15
Slighty Darker Gray#b3b2ae 179 178 174
Hunter Green#013b23 1 59 35
Lighter Green #025935 ? ? ?
Beige Charcoal #1f1e1e ? ? ?
"Metallic Gold" #D4AF37 ? ? ?
"Darker Green" #012e1b ? ? ?

Cohabitation Reduction Or Elimitation Of Alimony

One way to modify or terminate your alimony obligation is if the dependent spouse has begun cohabitating with an unrelated individual. The court utilizes a two-part test to determine when a dependent spouse’s cohabitation constitutes “changed circumstances” justifying a downward modification of alimony. First, the payor spouse must make a prima facie showing that the dependent spouse is cohabitating. Ozolins v. Ozolins, 308 N.J. Super. 243, 245 (App. Div. 1998). Proof of cohabitation creates a rebuttable presumption of changed circumstances. Id. at 248. Then, the burden shifts to the payee spouse to show a continuing need for support. Id. at 245. It is the extent of actual economic dependency, not one’s conduct as a cohabitant which determines the duration and amount of support. Gayet v. Gayet, 92 N.J. 149, 154 (1980)

To prove that the dependent spouse is cohabitating, the supporting spouse offers evidence of an intimate relationship in which the couple has undertaken duties and privileges commonly associated with marriage. Konzelman v. Konzelman, 158 N.J. 185, 202 (1999). These may include joint bank accounts, sharing living expenses and household chores, holding themselves out as a social “couple”, and sharing common meals. Id.; Rose v. Csapo, 359 N.J. Super. 53, 62 (Ch. Div. 2002).

To prove that the dependent spouse still requires support, the dependent spouse must show that there is no actual economic benefit to the dependent spouse or the cohabitant; this is often referred to as the “economic needs” test. An economic benefit will be found, and alimony reduced accordingly, if “(1) the cohabitant contributes to the dependent spouse’s support, or (2) the cohabitant resides in the dependent spouse’s home without contributing anything toward the household expenses.” Gayet, 92 N.J. at 153. Essentially, the court may permit modification of alimony if one cohabitant subsidizes the other in some way, thus entitling the supporting spouse to relief. Id.

If your ex-spouse is cohabitating with an unrelated individual please contact our offices and schedule and appointment to discuss your options.

Begin Your Conversation

  • Disclaimer: Contacting our firm via the internet does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information through this form.

Contact Our Morris County Office

866-957-2982

973-828-0829

Morristown / Morris County Law Office

65 Madison Ave

Suite 420

Morristown, NJ 07960

Morris County Mediation Office Map