One basis for a claim for a modification of alimony in Georgia is what is colloquially referred to as the “live in lover” statute. According to O.C.G.A. § 19-6-19(b).
Subsequent to a final judgment of divorce awarding periodic payment of alimony for the support of a spouse, the voluntary cohabitation of such former spouse with a third party in a meretricious relationship shall also be grounds to modify provisions made for periodic payments of permanent alimony for the support of the former spouse. As used in this subsection, the word “cohabitation” means dwelling together continuously and openly in a meretricious relationship with another person, regardless of the sex of the other person.
Most people understand that remarriage is not the exclusive defining test for ending alimony. If you and your significant other are living together and having sexual relations, then your former spouse can file for modification of alimony upon grounds of the live in love statute. In this case, the court will be under the assumption that your need for alimony has decreased because you are now sharing financial responsibilities with this person.
If you are filing for a modification action on these grounds and are seeking to decrease your alimony payment to your former spouse, you should keep in mind that the court will seek proof that your former spouse is engaging in a meretricious relationship. You should also be aware that should the judge decide after reviewing this evidence that your former spouse is not in a meretricious relationship, you will most likely be responsible for your former spouse’s attorney’s fees in addition to your own.
Call us at 770-609-1247 today to discuss with one of our experienced attorneys the modification of alimony as it may pertain to your specific situation.