Cohabitation is an important concept in the context of Georgia divorces, and it may be important for spouses to understand the specific legal definition of cohabitation. Generally speaking, cohabitation refers to two or more people living together. Those occupying the same home are “cohabitating.” In a more specific legal context, it has the potential to end alimony – otherwise known as “spousal support.” This potential outcome is one of the many reasons spouses should understand what might constitute cohabitation.
Cohabitation is Almost Always Romantic in Nature
The general definition of cohabitation does not specify whether this arrangement is romantic in nature. In a legal context, however, cohabitation generally needs to involve a romantic relationship in order to stop or modify existing alimony agreements.
For example, a wife may be financially dependent on her husband during the marriage. She may then pursue alimony after the marriage ends. If, however, she moves in with a new boyfriend after the divorce, the husband may have the ability to end or modify his alimony payments.
The logic here is that alimony is meant to provide financial stability for a spouse who is not used to paying their own bills. Alimony may be rehabilitative in nature – giving spouses the time and resources to pursue new forms of accreditation and education for future careers. If the spouse is receiving this form of financial support from a new romantic partner, there is no reason for them to receive the same financial support from their ex-spouse as well.
What About a Roommate?
If you move in with a roommate, this would likely not constitute cohabitation according to the narrow, divorce-related legal definition. Although the two roommates may be splitting the rent, they are not truly financially and emotionally codependent in the same way as a romantic couple. That being said, roommates can engage in romantic relationships – and spouses may attempt to hide the true nature of cohabitation by misrepresenting a new partner as a mere roommate.
What About Moving in with Parents?
Moving back in with parents will almost certainly have no effect on alimony in Georgia. This might seem unfair to paying spouses, as their exes may clearly benefit from financial dependence on their parents while simultaneously receiving alimony. That being said, the spouse may experience lowered living costs while living with their parents – and these living costs may be used to re-calculate more appropriate alimony payments. You may have the opportunity to explore more options for reducing your alimony after speaking with a qualified divorce lawyer in Georgia.
Where Can I Find an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Georgia?
If you have been searching for a qualified divorce attorney in Georgia, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous divorcing spouses across the state – including those who need help with alimony-related issues. Book your consultation today to learn more about how cohabitation may affect your alimony agreement going forward.