New York residents who are burdened with alimony payments will likely want to end their obligations when they find out that the other spouse is cohabiting with a new partner. However, terminating or reducing spousal support payments for such a reason can be complicated and will normally require a substantial amount of evidence.
In some cases, additional proof may include a showing that the new couple is commingling their finances through the establishment of a joint bank account. In other cases, inferential proof of cohabitation may be found such as taking care of each other’s children. In both instances, the evidence has to be collected for a prolonged period of time to support the claims of cohabitation. Some corroboration may be obtained from surveillance reports provided by a private investigator, but this can be costly.
One reliable and less-expensive method may be through the use of cellphone technology. Most cellphone owners have their devices with them around the clock and can be tracked by a cell tower, as the data from the tower can be used to pinpoint the location of the user. In cases of cohabitation, the collected data can be used as proof of presence in the same location on a regular basis and may be helpful to establish continuous whereabouts of the spouse in question and used in cases of alimony challenges.
Alimony payments are usually the product of a contested divorce, and are awarded by the court based upon a consideration of several factors, including the loss of income to the recipient as a result of the end of the marriage. If the ex-spouse enters into a new relationship that has a positive financial impact, then a modification or termination of the award may be appropriate.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Using a Cell Phone to Show That Your Former Spouse Is Cohabiting“, Diane L. Danois, J.D., January 24, 2014