I recently was asked about whether a spouse must continue to pay alimony to his ex-wife now that she has apparently moved in with a co-worker of hers. Here is the full question:
Divorced 3 years, paying alimony, ex was renting a duplex for about 2 years, purchased a 4 bedroom 3 bath house to use as her residence/office for a medical establishment for holistic breathing exercises. The male breathing instructor claims the house to be his home/office/retreat. They both reside at this residence, but my ex made the purchase in her name. Is this considered cohabitation ??
My answer to this is that it depends (of course). If you are going to claim that your ex-spouse has engaged in cohabitation such that your obligation to pay spousal support shall terminate under NC Law (see NCGS 50-16.9), you must have some pretty rock solid proof. Not only do you have to prove that your ex is living with someone else, but you must also prove that they are engaged in a private, heterosexual relationship. They must be carrying on as a married couple, even though they aren’t married.
If you think about that, it is a pretty difficult burden that you have. Unless your spouse has come out and told you (in writing) that she is cohabitating, then you are going to need to hire a private investigator to take pictures, follow your ex around, watch how she interacts with the new boyfriend, etc.
If you simply go into court with no evidence, then not only will you lose, but you may also get dinged for the attorney’s fees your ex had to pay to defend your frivolous lawsuit.
Moral of the story here? Make damn sure you are right before you file. And I would also talk to a lawyer about this.