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#771761 - 05/02/16 06:50 PM Alimony and Cohabitation Question
mskelly Offline

journeyman

Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 57
State Mississippi
I'm looking for an answer to an Alimony question. Here goes....
My Husband has to pay permanent Alimony to his Ex Wife (YES!! he was taken to the cleaners) Here's the thing....She has been living with a man for over 3 years (this man is also still married, we are told he's legally separated from his wife, but we have no proof of that).She is (supposedly) Bipolar and an abusive alcoholic. Their children are grown, one is living on her own and the other is in college (which he has to fully support while still in college according to the divorce judgment). She has told her children that she will never remarry because then she wouldn't get the alimony money every month.
My Husband has changed jobs since his divorce was final and he does not make as much money now as he did then. He can hardly pay any bill and I pretty much pay for all of our bills, just so he can support his ex wife and his child who is still in college(don't judge me). We have spoken to 2 different attorneys who have told us that if we took her back to court, that the judge would not take to kindly to her living with another man while (my Husband)her ex pays her alimony, the attorneys that we spoke to also said that we could get the alimony completely dismissed for that reason, but we could get the amount reduced based on the fact that my husbands income has decreased. The issue is that both attorneys want $10,000 just to handle the case and there is never a guarantee. We worry that we have just so happened to talk to 2 attorneys that are willing to tell us what we want to hear, just so they can get a quick $10,000. Does anyone have any idea if either of these things are true?

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#771762 - 05/02/16 07:23 PM Re: Alimony and Cohabitation Question [Re: mskelly]
TJMH Online   content

enthusiast

Registered: 07/17/15
Posts: 347
Don't know about Mississippi but in California spousal support is reduced, typically roughly by half, if the supported party is cohabitating. It's not quite automatic but nearly so as long as cohabitation is demonstrated. To the court this isn't a question of morality but rather an assumption that the supported party's need is reduced because they've combined households with their partner.

It's also typical that spousal support can be reduced if the supporting party's income is reduced, based on a reduced ability to pay.

For both of those it's worth seeing what the state Family Law code says, if anything. Usually you can find this online or there may be free legal assistance available through the court.

If you husband can convince his ex to voluntarily agree to reductions (by convincing her that they'd both incur big legal bills to fight it out in court and she'd probably lose)then I would think you could get a lawyer to draft up the paperwork for a couple thousand, maybe less.

If it winds up being a court fight $10K (for each of them) doesn't sound unreasonable to me. It sounds like he's got a pretty good case but would need to calculate the "return on investment" assuming his spousal support is reduced and by how much.

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#771763 - 05/02/16 07:35 PM Re: Alimony and Cohabitation Question [Re: TJMH]
mskelly Offline

journeyman

Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 57
TJMH -
It is not possible for her to be reasonable enough to have for an intelligent conversation about anything much less agreeing on a reduction. Her normal reaction is to scream cuss and cry (even with the Judge) The $10,000 in attorney fees would be recouped in less than 1 year, if the alimony was reduced or stopped. Court is going to be our only option. We just didn't want to put our money and faith in an attorney, if it is going to be totally unreasonable to expect a positive outcome on our part.

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#771764 - 05/02/16 10:24 PM Re: Alimony and Cohabitation Question [Re: mskelly]
TJMH Online   content

enthusiast

Registered: 07/17/15
Posts: 347
Actually I did a little googling and it looks like in MS cohabitation is grounds for ceasing spousal support entirely, so her plan not to get remarried may not work out for her.

It would be up to your husband to prove cohabitation though, but it sounds like it may be worthwhile for him.

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#771765 - 05/05/16 03:57 AM Re: Alimony and Cohabitation Question [Re: mskelly]
MinnesotaMom Offline

old hand

Registered: 01/05/11
Posts: 792
Of course they are true, but a private investigator (much of this you could do yourself online) is valuable. Things to look for is where they list their addresses on their bills, tax returns and DL. There's much more, but a third party pretty much needs to get it to testify for you.

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#771766 - 05/11/16 11:51 AM Re: Alimony and Cohabitation Question [Re: MinnesotaMom]
mskelly Offline

journeyman

Registered: 05/02/16
Posts: 57
Ok we went and talked to a 3rd Attorney yesterday and he told us the same thing that the other two did. That we have a very strong case based on the cohabitation issue alone he feels certain that it can get reduced if not dismissed all together. I have proof that they are using the same address. I found his property information online and I have copies of her medical bills and they are using the same address. We also have no problem subpoenaing her family to testify that they've been cohabitating for over 3 years.

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