The law concerning Connecticut cohabitation and alimony is often misunderstood.
There is a two part test:
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §46b-86 (b), a finding of cohabitation requires findings only (1) that the alimony recipient was living with another person and (2) that the living arrangement caused a change of circumstances so as to alter the alimony recipient’s financial needs.
I highlight only to emphasize that there is no requirement that the cohabitation involve a romantic or sexual relationship. The focus is whether the financial needs of the person receiving alimony have changed (improved) because of the cohabitation.
A recent case from the Connecticut Appellate Court illustrates this point.
The parties were divorced in 2011. The former husband was ordered to pay monthly alimony to his former wife plaintiff in the amount of $5,000, with payments to terminate upon her “cohabitation”.
In 2013, he moved to terminate the alimony based on cohabitation with her boyfriend. The trial court granted the motion for termination of alimony effective on the date she began cohabitating with her boyfriend. She appealed. On appeal she did not dispute that she was living with her boyfriend, but argued that her cohabitation should terminate alimony only if if her former husband could prove that the cohabitation had “a romantic or sexual component,” and that he failed to introduce such evidence.
The Appellate Court affirmed, holding that no such showing was required and that the alimony was properly terminated since both of the requirements of the two part test were satisfied. At her hearing on the motion to terminate alimony, the former wife testified that she began living with her boyfriend on October 1, 2013. She acknowledged further that their agreement to share costs resulted in the reduction of her monthly rent obligation from $950 to $375. Therefore, she benefited financially from this arrangement. No further showing regarding the nature of the “relationship” was required.
I represent clients with alimony issues throughout Fairfield County including Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Trumbull, Stratford, Bridgeport, Westport, Weston, New Canaan, Wilton, Norwalk, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich.