Modify spousal support due to cohabitation

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Modify spousal support due to cohabitation

My divorce agreement already states that if she cohabitates, my payments go down considerably. I have honored every part of our agreement and then some. She has been living with another man, but continues to deny it. I haven’t changed my payments yet, but for the last two weeks, I’ve gotten up at night and went and took pictures of his car at the house. Is this enough proof for me to begin lowering my payment this week?

Asked on September 20, 2018 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Typically, you need to go to court with the agreement and the evidence of the breach and have the court order the reduction; in that process, she has a chance to prove she did not violate and you have the chance to prove she did. The agreement may provide for a reduction, but you are not a court--you don't have authority, and you're not a neutral party and fact finder, which is why a court order is generally required. Not seeing your specific agreement, we cannot say if  that is the case here, but it is how it usually works. You are advised to take your evidence and a copy of the agreement to a family law attorney to review with you before simply lowering payments, since if you lower payments improperly, you could find yourself being punished for it by the court if she brings an action to have them reinstated.


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