Modify spousal support due to cohabitation

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Modify spousal support due to cohabitation

My divorce agreement already states that if she cohabitates, my payments go down considerably. I have honored every part of our agreement and then some. She has been living with another man, but continues to deny it. I haven’t changed my payments yet, but for the last two weeks, I’ve gotten up at night and went and took pictures of his car at the house. Is this enough proof for me to begin lowering my payment this week?

Asked on September 20, 2018 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Typically, you need to go to court with the agreement and the evidence of the breach and have the court order the reduction; in that process, she has a chance to prove she did not violate and you have the chance to prove she did. The agreement may provide for a reduction, but you are not a court--you don't have authority, and you're not a neutral party and fact finder, which is why a court order is generally required. Not seeing your specific agreement, we cannot say if  that is the case here, but it is how it usually works. You are advised to take your evidence and a copy of the agreement to a family law attorney to review with you before simply lowering payments, since if you lower payments improperly, you could find yourself being punished for it by the court if she brings an action to have them reinstated.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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