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Does cohabitation impact my ability to receive alimony in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2021 | Divorce |

The longer a marriage lasted or the more contentious the divorce was, the more likely it is that a spouse would steer clear of rushing to remarry again. That doesn’t mean that a relationship won’t become serious enough that a couple decides to move in with each other.

If you’re receiving alimony, also known as spousal support, here in Pennsylvania, moving in with your new significant other could put the monthly payments you receive in jeopardy.

What does Pennsylvania law say about cohabitation and your receipt of spousal support?

Here in Pennsylvania, state law prohibits spouses from continuing to receive spousal support if they remarry or cohabitate with someone of the opposite gender. The law doesn’t say anything about same-sex couples. A judge may order a cohabiting spouse to repay any spousal support dating back to when their ex discovered their cohabitation.

Laws regarding spousal support vary state, though. If you and your ex may live in different states, then Pennsylvania laws may not apply to your case, depending on which court has jurisdiction.

Other factors may eliminate your responsibility to pay alimony. A loss of a job, becoming disabled, or falling ill are all hardships that may allow you to petition the court to eliminate your requirement to pay alimony.

How the court decides alimony

The courts often condition alimony on each spouse’s household financial contribution, the length of a marriage and career prospects for the spouse with the lower income. You may want to learn more about the steps involved in requesting a post-judgment modification if circumstances have changed and it doesn’t seem that alimony is appropriate in your case any longer.