Using Cell Phone Data to Terminate Alimony


After a Pasadena divorce, a judge may order alimony payments to help a lower-earning or unemployed spouse get back on his or her feet. Alimony payments are often ordered for a specific time period, with early termination allowed if the person receiving the alimony remarries or begins cohabiting.

Remarriage, obviously, is easy to prove. Cohabitation, however, is a bit trickier. If your ex knows that living with a new romantic partner will trigger the end of alimony payments, there's a big incentive to have mail sent to two separate addresses, have an old roommate hold on to a few personal belongings, or keep one person's name off the apartment lease to avoid the appearance of cohabitation.

When cohabitation is difficult to prove, cell phone records can help. Whenever a cell phone is turned on, the device is sending signals to towers. Cell tower location data is objective evidence in a court of law. It eliminates the "he said/she said" element of divorce negotiations by providing concrete proof of whether a couple is cohabiting.

Many cell phone carriers have a team of staff who are trained to respond to court-ordered requests for cell phone records. The law allows you to subpoena the records of a third party, so you can request your ex's cell phone records or the records of his/her new romantic partner.

Cell phone data is also much cheaper than hiring a private investigator, which is what would previously be recommended if you were trying to get alimony payments terminated. There is no charge for the data itself, although there would be a fee if you required a records custodian to testify at trial.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you have questions about the terms of your alimony agreement. Our Pasadena divorce law firm is equipped to deal with a wide range of spousal support issues.