How to Prove Cohabitation in New Jersey
Navigating the complex terrain of cohabitation law in New Jersey can be challenging. Whether you’re contemplating moving in with a partner or worried about how this move could affect your alimony, understanding the law is crucial. See below for information and insight into this complex legal area, and contact the Union Law Offices of John B. D’Alessandro for help with a cohabitation agreement or other family law matter in Union, Middlesex or Essex County.
Does New Jersey Recognize Cohabitation Agreements as Valid and Enforceable?
The simple answer is, yes, New Jersey does recognize cohabitation agreements. In fact, the state encourages individuals to make these agreements to avoid disputes in the future. Cohabitation agreements often include provisions about property division, financial support, and other responsibilities if the relationship ends.
Cohabitation agreements are valid so long as they are in writing, signed by both parties, and notarized. Remember, though, that for such an agreement to be enforceable, it must be considered fair and equitable by the court. This emphasizes the importance of each party having separate legal counsel to avoid conflicts of interest and ensure they are fairly represented in the agreement.
What Is the Cohabitation Law in New Jersey?
Cohabitation law in New Jersey has evolved over the years to accommodate changing societal norms. Essentially, cohabitation is defined as a mutually supportive, intimate relationship wherein a couple lives together as if they were married.
The implication here is that a cohabitating couple shares household duties and expenses and makes decisions together, as a married couple would. However, it’s worth noting that proving cohabitation can be somewhat tricky. It requires more than just establishing that two people are living under the same roof. Evidence of shared finances, shared responsibility for household chores, recognition of the relationship by the community, and length of the relationship can all contribute to proving cohabitation.
The law of cohabitation in New Jersey has undergone significant changes over the years. In 2014, the state passed a law indicating that alimony can be modified or terminated if the recipient is cohabitating, even if they haven’t remarried. The court will consider factors such as shared living expenses, recognition of the relationship by the community, and length of cohabitation. Recent cases have confirmed that all of these factors don’t have to be proven to establish cohabitation, but each factor on its own can be relevant to the cohabitation determination. Skilled and knowledgeable legal assistance can be essential whether you are trying to prove or disprove cohabitation in a case to terminate alimony.
Will I Lose My Alimony if I Move in with My Boyfriend in NJ?
Moving in with your boyfriend could indeed impact your alimony, but it depends on the specifics of your case. The New Jersey alimony statute (N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(n)) states that alimony may be suspended, reduced, or terminated upon the cohabitation of the recipient. This doesn’t automatically mean you’ll lose your alimony – the court will examine multiple factors, including the cohabitation agreement if one exists. Given the potential impact on your alimony, it’s advisable to seek legal advice before making a move.
Understanding and proving cohabitation in New Jersey can be a complex process. The team at the Law Offices of John B. D’Alessandro is ready to guide you every step of the way. Don’t navigate these tricky legal waters alone. Contact us today for a consultation.