Pennsylvania Family Law and Divorce
Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.

The Impact of Cohabitation on Your Pennsylvania Alimony Award

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In Pennsylvania, alimony is paid from one party's post separation earnings to the other party after a divorce. Alimony is an equitable feature of the divorce process; this means it is not meant to be a reward or a punishment for either party involved. Alimony exists to help the party with a smaller income or no income at all, sustain a reasonable lifestyle. 

The factors of alimony are typically governed by reasonable needs, standard of living (within reason), and the ability of the individual who owes alimony, to pay. Alimony is additional to equitable distribution and therefore is not always applicable, however when it is awarded there are a few ways that the payor spouse will be relieved of his or her payment obligation.

The most important way that many people may not realize is via the cohabitation and/or remarriage of the payee. If you are an ex-spouse receiving alimony and you decide to move in with a new significant other, evidence of this will end your alimony payments. The thought behind this is that cohabitation should provide the receiving ex-spouse a new form of financial security and therefore he or she will no longer have the need for alimony.

If cohabitation cannot be proven, remarriage will absolutely end the payments. You can read more about this Pennsylvania law in 23 Pa.C.S. § 3706. Additionally, the case Moran v. Moran explains further the way cohabitation is defined. Basically, if someone can prove an interdependence between the alleged cohabiting couple, they will most likely be successful in defeating a claim to alimony in Pennsylvania.

If you are paying alimony and believe your ex is now living with a significant other or if you are receiving alimony and are considering moving in with your new partner, contact our Pennsylvania Family Lawyers. Our team can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision. For more information or to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us today!

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