Alimony Laws May Be Changed to Reflect Cohabitation

For many Georgia couples, divorce can be a difficult process. Alimony can make the process even more uncomfortable, especially since laws haven't kept up with changing social standards.

One of the main complaints is that alimony payments continue even though the receiving spouse is cohabitating with another partner. In most cases, alimony is supposed to end on remarriage, but a "marriage-like" living arrangement doesn't have the same effect. As a result, the paying spouse ends up supporting both the ex and his or her new partner.

Many ex-spouses intentionally avoid marriage in the hopes of retaining their alimony payments. In other cases, the ex-spouse may simply be wary of remarrying after having already gone through one divorce.

Regardless of the cause, cohabitation is 21st-century reality. States are catching on to this and are trying to update their laws. For example, Massachusetts recently changed its 40-year-old alimony laws to allow for a modification or elimination of alimony if the paying spouse can prove that the receiving spouse has lived with another person for three months. Connecticut will require the paying spouse to prove that the couple lives together, and that the cohabitants are financially supporting each other.

These changes have encouraged other states to reevaluate their own alimony laws, and many states have followed suit in trying to change the laws to reflect current trends. It is likely only a matter of time before this issue gets taken up in the Georgia legislature.

Source: Huffington Post Blog, "Alimony for Cohabiters, Still, in 2012," Elizabeth Benedict, June 8, 2012

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