The Effect of Cohabitation on Alimony in Massachusetts

Understanding Which Actions Can Jeopardize Your Spousal Support Payments

Divorce often includes financial support from one spouse to another, called spousal support, or more commonly known as alimony. Spousal support can be extremely helpful in allowing the recipient spouse to continue living at or near the same lifestyle as once enjoyed during the marriage. However, these payments could be stopped for a variety of reasons, including cohabitation of the receiving spouse with another individual.

Cohabitation of the recipient spouse with another individual could be a recipe for disaster. If a “common household” is established for a continuous period of at least three months, the recipient spouse risks their alimony either being suspended or terminated.

While the term “common household” suggests that a couple is in either a romantic or marriage-like relationship, this does not necessarily have to be the case. Unless your separation agreement, also known as your divorce agreement, specifically allows for the recipient spouse to cohabitate with someone post-divorce, it is likely that such alimony payments will be suspended or terminated.

It is always wise to seek the advice of our experienced divorce and family law attorney if you are receiving spousal support and thinking of cohabitating with someone post-divorce. If you are concerned about your alimony eligibility, contact Sawin Law, P.C. for professional assistance.