Terminating Alimony for Cohabitation in South Carolina

Under South Carolina family law, an ex-spouse’s alimony may be terminated when that person “resides with another person in a romantic relationship for a period of ninety or more consecutive days.” This circumstance is known as “continued cohabitation.” Continued cohabitation also exists “if there is evidence that the supported spouse resides with another person in a romantic relationship for periods of less than ninety days and the two periodically separate in order to circumvent the ninety-day requirement.” Proving cohabitation isn’t easy. Oftentimes the supported spouse and their lover will maintain separate residences. Even if they spend almost every night together, keeping separate residences seems to be proof that the parties aren’t living together.

So far, there seems to be little support by South Carolina’s appellate courts for terminating alimony based on cohabitation. However, in the August 2013 case of McKinney v. Pedery, the South Carolina Court of Appeals upheld the family court’s decision to terminate an ex-husband’s alimony because he was engaged in “continued cohabitation” with his girlfriend. Specifically, for seven months, the ex-husband’s girlfriend was spending every Wednesday afternoon through Monday morning at his house but spending every Monday morning through Wednesday afternoon at her son’s house taking care of her grandchildren.

Divorce Attorneys in Charleston, South Carolina

If you need a divorce lawyer in Charleston, please call Futeral & Nelson, LLC today for a consultation.

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