Cohabitation After Divorce

Once the Beaver County divorce decree is issued, you are free and in the clear to date again. Our Beaver family lawyers know that getting back out there (when you’re ready) and taking steps to move on can be a great way to start this new chapter in your life. Things might get serious with a new partner, and you may begin to discuss taking the next step and moving in together. Should you do it?

The answer is, as to many legal questions, it really depends on the facts of your case. Cohabitation can have an impact on alimony, if you are receiving it. Many Marriage Settlement Agreements setting out alimony awards specify that they terminate upon the receiving spouse’s death, remarriage, or “cohabitation”. Cohabitation does not mean moving in with a roommate, it means moving in with a romantic partner.

Many issues with cohabitation revolve around your kids. If you have kids, then your decision-making necessarily takes into account their interests and your relationship with them. Moving in with a new partner can have an impact both legally and emotionally on your children. Legally, a new partner can potentially have an impact on custody time with your kids, as well as the amount of support that you might owe or be entitled to.

Additionally, if cohabitation means moving far away, then you could be required to get the consent of your ex or seek the permission of the court. If you move far enough away that your child must change school districts, move more than 50 miles away, or move across state lines, you must comply with notice requirements to anyone with a custody interest in your child. If your ex does not consent to the proposed relocation, you and your PA child custody lawyer could be required to attend a relocation hearing before the court.

There are also, of course, many benefits to moving in with your new partner, such as sharing rent and utilities, a step towards greater commitment, and the chance to invest more seriously in your relationship. Drafting a domestic partnership agreement can be a way to prepare to take that step by designating what will happen to your property. Contact our Beaver County divorce attorneys today before you move in!

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