What constitutes cohabitation?

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What constitutes cohabitation?

What does it mean when it states long term relationship? Is it a timeframe of years? Since co-habitation can be a very gray area, what would an ex-spouse have to prove to show his ex-spouse is co-habitating in order to stop paying alimony? 

Asked on May 23, 2011 under Family Law, Utah

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This can be a complicated question.  Typically state statutes define "cohabitation" as the act of 2 adults living together the majority of the time and habitually engaging in sexual relations. Additionally, they must voluntarily and mutually assume rights, duties and obligations which are usually manifested by married people. 

Accordingly, statutes regarding cohabitation have been held to apply to a situation where a wife's boyfriend maintained a separate residence but stayed in the wife's home overnight 5 times per week and enjoyed an exclusive monogamous relationship with her.

However, persons who occasionally "live together" and do engage in sexual relations may not meet the requirements of "cohabitation." Merely having a monogamous dating and sexual relationship does not necessarily constitute cohabitation. For example where a boyfriend maintains a separate residence, does not keep his clothing/toiletries in the home, does not use that address for receiving mail, etc, does not pay any household expenses, and has no joint financial accounts with the dependent spouse.

Right now, you need to speak directly with a divorce attorney in your area. 


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