Alimony is often a topic of dispute during divorce. In Massachusetts, a law introduced in 2012 set some limits on alimony payments depending on a variety of factors, with length of marriage being one of them. Even after alimony is determined, it may still be subject to change. Remarriage or cohabitation is a common reason for change. Here’s what you need to know about Melrose MA alimony payments after remarriage or cohabitation.
Melrose MA Alimony Payments After Remarriage
Typically, alimony cannot be collected after remarriage. In rare cases, it may continue if the ex-spouse can prove ongoing economic hardship due to special circumstances (such as an illness or disability). Simply a change in lifestyle is not sufficient reason to retain alimony after remarriage.
If alimony is terminated due to remarriage, it is permanent despite the status of that marriage. In other words, if that new marriage ends in divorce, alimony does not re-activate unless there is something in the divorce agreement that states otherwise.
Cohabitation Change to Alimony Payments
When an ex-spouse receiving alimony payments cohabitates with a new partner, this may be cause for alimony payments to be altered. Cohabitation is defined as continually living with a partner for a period of 3 or more months. The person paying the alimony has the burden of proof. He/she must prove that cohabitation has indeed been for 3 continuous months and that the ex-spouse gains financial benefit from it. Basically, the alimony payer must prove that the ex-spouse does not need alimony (or as much alimony) as a result of living with the new partner. This can often be difficult but, if successful, alimony payments may be suspended, reduced, or eliminated altogether.
Assistance with Alimony Cases Involving Re-marriage or Cohabitation
Changes to Melrose MA alimony payments after remarriage requires filing a Complaint for Modification of Alimony. Our Melrose MA Divorce Attorneys can assist with that paperwork. Additionally, in cases of cohabitation, we can assist you with also building a case for reduction or removal of alimony support to an ex-spouse. Contact us today for a free consultation.