What constitutes “living together”?

UPDATED: Aug 21, 2011

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What constitutes “living together”?

I am paying spousal maintenance in the amount of $1000 a month with the stipulation that it will end if she remarries, dies or cohabituates with another man. Her boyfriend works nights so he doesn’t “spend the night” but he does sleep there a lot of the time after work. He is also there a lot during the week (4-5 days a week that I am aware of). Should look into this with a private investigator to prove how much time he is there and whether, in the eyes of the court, this would be considered living together?

Asked on August 21, 2011 Tennessee


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no specific law that I can see regarding co-habitation in Tennessee so what constitutes cohabitation for legal purposes must be carved out in case law.  Generally speaking, and by definition, cohabitation is a living arrangement in which an unmarried couple lives together in a long-term relationship that resembles a marriage.  That would mean setting up house together, sharing expenses, etc.  Having a boy friend that stays over a lot but who maintains a separate residence paying separate bills is not, I think, co habitation.  I would speak with your lawyer about the factors that the court considers in determining that parties are cohabitating. Enogh factors to allow you to bring a motion to stop payments.  Good luck.

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