Can Cohabitation Affect My Alimony?


While it's certainly exciting to begin a new relationship after your Pasadena divorce, it's important to consider the possible impact of cohabitation of any alimony payments that you might be receiving.

At one point, alimony orders were only terminated if the recipient remarried. In recognition of the increase in couples choosing to cohabitate, however, it's now much more common for an alimony agreement to state that payments can end when the recipient begins cohabiting with a romantic partner. (Sharing expenses with a friend in a roommate situation is not considered cohabitating for this purpose.)

What counts as cohabitation? Simply spending a few nights per week at your significant other's home isn't going to be enough to be considered a cohabiting relationship. Having your mail sent to his address or opening a joint bank account, however, would be two definite signs that the court would use to say you are cohabitating.

Although some courts have ruled that alimony can be reinstated if the cohabitation ends, alimony recipients should be aware that the obligation to pay alimony is generally not reinstated after it has been terminated. So if cohabitation will cause your alimony payments to end, you must carefully consider the financial implications of taking this step in your relationship.

If you will be receiving alimony payments as part of your divorce settlement, you must go over the agreement with your lawyer carefully to make sure you understand what your rights are. There are four kinds of alimony: permanent alimony, temporary alimony, reimbursement alimony, and rehabilitative alimony. The rules surrounding each vary, so it's best to discuss your situation with your lawyer before making a major decision such as beginning to cohabitate with a new partner.

How Can We Help?

If you have questions regarding alimony payments, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our team of skilled Pasadena divorce attorneys can provide the quality legal representation you need to handle any divorce-related issue.