A common question associated with post-separation support and alimony is whether having a partner live with you affects your ability to continue to collect alimony. The answer is yes. According to North Carolina law (§ 50-16.9), if you are a dependent spouse and receiving post-separation support or alimony under a judgment or order, your right to receive support from your former spouse will end if you either re-marry, you engage in cohabitation, or your former spouse passes away.

This begs the question, what is co-habitation? North Carolina law (N.C.G.S 50-16.9(b)) states that co-habitation is “two adults dwelling together continuously and habitually in a private heterosexual relationship, even if this relationship is not solemnized by marriage, or a private homosexual relationship”.

Therefore, if you are currently receiving alimony from your former spouse, it is important to evaluate how having a new partner will affect your financial situation. Additionally, if you are a spouse who is currently paying alimony to a former spouse, it would be wise to seek the advice of a family law attorney as to whether it is possible to stop paying alimony to that former spouse.