Termination of alimony due to cohabitation

Question:

My ex-wife is selling the home and moving, with children, to a new, bigger, more expensive place with her boyfriend. She plans to permanently live there but not get married in order to continue to receive alimony. Other than simply being unethical, can I do antthing about it in the state of MA if its not in the divorce agreement?

Answer:

I cannot answer your question specifically to the laws of MA as I am not licensed in that State. Generally, maintenance (alimony) is modified upon a showing of a substantial and continuing change of circumstances. The basic idea of maintenance is that she cannot meet her reasonable needs and expenses. You can attack that claim on the income side or that her expenses are unreasonable. If she has a boyfriend residing with her, he must be sharing the expenses. Her mortgage and utilities should be cut in at least half depending on the boyfriend’s income. You can also look a the income side. Some jurisdictions place a burden upon the person receiving maintenance to make reasonable attempts to progress toward self-reliance. I would assume that your ex-wife is not working? Finally, some jurisdictions consider a cohabiting person to be in a similar situation as a married individual and will terminate maintenance automatically.
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