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My ex-wife is cohabitating but denies it. Can I stop paying alimony, or is there a court process I must follow?

Clarksburg, WV |

My divorce decree states that I will pay alimony until my ex-wife remarries or cohabitates, and now she is cohabitating. Do I have to go through the courts to get the OK to stop paying? What repurcussions would there be for me if I just stopped paying it?

I have time stamped photos of his vehicles in the driveway, but the majority of the evidence would have to come from my son, who is 12. I really don't want to have to sub peona my son to testify in court, I want to keep him out of this if possible.

My son said he moved in, he bought a game console for the house, he has purchased a jacket and shoes for my son, and he has a pet in the house. He has been there nearly without interruption for 2 months. If I can't stop paying, what things would I need to prove she is cohabitating?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. Yes, you will have to go thru the court. If not, you could be found in contempt of the order. No, you don't want your son as a witness and the court won't let him be one. Your photos won't be enough proof, because it could be just visiting, unless you have a series of them at overnight times. That would take hiring an investigator. You could subpoena and depose him under oath. You could depose her under oath. But will they lie? Are there any adult friends or relatives privy to her situation who would testify? You might subpoena the Postal Service about whether his mail is now forwarded there. Testimony of his past lanlord, if known. Subpoena his work records to see if he has generated a change of home address. All processes that cost money and may be shots in the dark. The investigator may be the best route, only becuase he/she paid to stake out and look into other things, or it might be as simple as getting into a hearing and have her state what's going on under oath. Speak to a local attorney about options.

    To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.

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