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How do I petition for reduction/elimination of alimony based on CT's cohabitation statute, and what is the burden of proof?

Bristol, CT |

My ex-wife is currently living with a man out of wedlock and gave birth to his child in December. The child was conceived before our divorce was final. The father of the child works full-time. She receives state assistance (HUSKY insurance, etc.). I pay her $154/week in child support and approximately $360/month in alimony.

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In Connecticut there is a statute that gives the standard for reducing/eliminating alimony based on cohabitation. That statute says that the court MAY (not shall) use its discretion and modify a judgment by suspending, reducing or terminating the payment of alimony if you can show that your former wife (the person getting the alimony) is living with another person and that her living arrangements "cause such a change of circumstances as to alter the financial needs of that party". In other words, you have to show that because she is living with someone else that person is contributing to her support and that her needs have changed because of it. If she is living with someone who is working full time and with whom she already has a baby, the chances are that your alimony will either be severely reduced or even terminated, as he is obviously contributing to her living expenses. You should also check out whether because they are living together she is eligible for heath insurance under his plan. As to her defense to your motion to modify, you need to think about whether she is going to claim that your alimony should not be reduced because you knew she was pregnant before the divorce was final and therefore her living with her boyfriend was taken into consideration when you agreed to pay her $360 per month.


Your question is one i find most difficult to be proven in Court. Technically the living together is only part of the equation. The second part is her getting a financial benefit from the new arrangement with this man. Judges, from my experience, are very cautious to reduce or terminate in these situations because they can end at any moment. You need solid proof of what her expenses and costs were at divorce and after divorce and now that she lives with the man. Not simply general costs, but specific supported by bills and affidavits. You really should not attempt this without experienced local family counsel in your area, Good luck. If you can get access to appellate case law, i suggest you read the appellate decisions in a case called Blum v. Blum

This information provided is in the nature of general information and in no way creates an attorney client relationship with anyone including the individual who posted the question. Attorney Norris is licensed only in Connecticut and does not provide legal advice outside of the State of Connecticut. Answers given are solely not to be considered legal advice. For legal advice contact an attorney licensed in your state.

Joshua O Balter

Joshua O Balter


I completely agree with Attorney Norris. You can actually google this case and some of the google listings will actually break this case down from legalese to plain language. I wish you luck


The cohabitation clause has been covered by previous attorneys. You have a good chance at reducing alimony, however one can never tell how a judge will rule. You must show that your ex-wife's expenses are reduced as a result of the contributions of this man. You must show that he is paying a portion of rent and/or food or clothing. The more back up for this claim such as checks, bank statements or credit card statements the better your case will be.

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