How can I show that I dwell collectively so as to droop my upkeep obligation? | Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP

As you may have heard, it is now a little easier in New Jersey to demonstrate coexistence, meaning that your ex-spouse is in a serious relationship with their new partner! In particular, you no longer need to prove that your ex-spouse is living with their new love interest on a full-time basis. This is huge! So what evidence do you need to present to the court to prove that your ex-spouse entered into more than just a causal dating relationship ?! The simple answer: as much evidence as you can find to cover your initial burden like this:

I always encourage my clients to start with “detective games” first. I encourage customers to browse social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like to do their first investigation, that is, see how often the new couple “check-in” at various concerts, restaurants, family gatherings, vacations, etc. only the “check-ins” show a pattern of the frequency of contact between the new couple, but it also shows 1.) the money the couple spends on each other 2.) whether the couple is in a “serious relationship” so they can have shared their relationship with their children and their family / friends and 3.) whether the couple is on vacation together.

After gathering the social media information, if we have a solid foundation in expecting the couple to be involved in more than just a causal dating relationship, then I’ll talk to my client about hiring a private investigator (the real detective) to confirm that the couple is spending the night together, doing chores together, and whether one party forwarded / reported their mail to the other party’s home. After gathering as much information as possible, I sit down with my client and discuss our chances of success when we file an application with the court to see if we can meet our brunt.

If we think a court would also agree that the new couple is in a serious dating relationship that goes up to the level of living together, then we are preparing a motion to the New Jersey Superior Court for a hearing To apply in plenary (a mini-process) further prove our case. In addition to our request to be heard in plenary, we ask for the right to send subpoenas (to obtain bank statements, credit card statements and other financial information to show that the new couple’s finances are mixed up) and to send depository orders (people who may have relevant information about the couple to ask questions) The wealth of information a person can get from subpoenas and affidavits is excellent and a wonderful tool in investigating your case.

It is difficult to prove coexistence, but with hard work and perseverance you can find enough evidence to demonstrate your right to termination / suspension of your maintenance obligation.

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