Cohabitation After Divorce Can Affect Alimony In Bergen County NJ

Divorce and Family Lawyers with Offices serving clients in Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck and Fort Lee. Call today for a fre consultation 201-397-1750

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark we have assisted thousands of couples navigate divorce or post-divorce situations like cohabitation.  We will help you consider the implications for these decisions, including effects on other areas of your life such as alimony and child support payments. You can leverage our years of  extensive experience and knowledge in order to be your ready advocate with excellent legal advice along with sincere compassion and support along the way.

This article will give you some clarification about what cohabitation is and how it might affect alimony. It will tell you the eight areas that a judge considers when determining cohabitation. Finally, it will clarify “permanent” vs. “open durational” alimony in New Jersey.

What is Cohabitation under NJ law? Ask Bergen County Family Lawyers

Post-divorce relationships can lead to cohabitation
Post-divorce relationships can lead to cohabitation

Since 2014, New Jersey defines cohabitation, or living together, as “…a mutually supportive, intimate personal relationship…” which, according to the law, is the same as marriage. This 2014 adjustment to family law statues continues to cause confusion and even anxiety for people receiving alimony. It is especially worrisome for low-income households or unemployed ex-spouses who depend on this support.

The lawyers at Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark have an exclusive focus on family law and are experts at litigating divorce and post judgement divorce motions, specifically those related to alimony, alimony modifications, support, ongoing asset distribution, and post-divorce appeals or claims.

Cohabitation can significantly affect alimony in Paramus NJ

It’s easier now to prove cohabitation than it used to be. By effectively living with the new partner, the revised definition makes it easier to assert that an ex-spouse is in a new virtual marriage. This opens the door to a possible motion to adjust or end alimony payments.

The criteria a judge considers when determining cohabitation

Cohabitation can affect alimony after divorce
Cohabitation can affect alimony

Under New Jersey law, a judge must consider some or all of the following factors in determining whether cohabitation is occurring for the alimony recipient. It isn’t necessary to prove all eight, but at least some of them must be apply in a relevant way. There are several aspects that indicate a new relationship extends to cohabitation:

• The relationship’s length
• Living together and frequency of contact
• Shared responsibility for living expenses
• Recognition of the relationship in the couple’s family and social circle
• Shared household chores
• Intermingled finances
• Whether the alimony recipient has received an enforceable promise of support from another individual
• Any additional relevant evidence

Open durational alimony can be modified, Teaneck Attorneys Explain

There is another change that could lead to an adjustment in alimony between exes. Open durational alimony is a new legal term and concept. Your lawyer at the law firm of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark will explain the details and how (or if) it affects you. For now, you need to know that “permanent alimony” was eliminated and replaced with “open durational alimony.”

Under open durational alimony, alimony support can be modified and even terminated if the payer can prove certain changes in either the payer’s or the recipient’s circumstances.

Changes in employment can affect alimony for either the payer or the recipient

Negotiating finance issues like alimony with your ex can be stressful, let your attorney help
Negotiating finance issues like alimony with your ex can be stressful, let your attorney help


Probably the most frequently change besides cohabitation is due to a reduction in income due to job loss (or any reason), for either ex-spouse, but in particular the payer’s income. Likewise, there is now a “presumption” that when an alimony-paying spouse formally retires at the federal age for Social Security benefits, he/she is no longer required to pay alimony. This requires an order from a judge to be implemented.

Will my alimony support payment change? Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark and find out. 201-397-1750

We can help you to understand why and how you might be at risk (alimony recipient) or if you may be eligible to request a motion to change the alimony arrangement (alimony payer). Let our experience work for you with  representation you can count on.

Contact us online or call our office today toll-free for a free initial consultation.
We’re representing clients all over New Jersey, including: Hackensack (office), Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee, NJ.

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