As a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer, I have always found this area of NJ Family Law to be one of the most unfair, specifically to the person paying alimony. Most recently, a new case came down that disturbs me as, in my opinion, has made the law of “cohabitation” in New Jersey even more unjust. This blog shall explore the law as it presently stands, this brand new case and how the pending New Jersey Alimony Reform may make the law more fair in this area of the law.
Under present New Jersey Divorce Law, cohabitation occurs (in a court of law) is when the couple bears the “character of a family unit as a relatively permanent household.” Furthermore, the relationship must show “stability, permanency and mutual interdependence.” One of the lead cases further states that when the couple is in an intimate relationship wherein they undertake duties and roles that are commonly known to be like those in a marriage, cohabitation exists under NJ Divorce Law. Examples given in this case include but are not limited to:
1. Living together;