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How to prove your ex is cohabiting in order to terminate support

Financial support agreements may be subject to change the moment that an ex-spouse begins to cohabit with someone new -- even if they aren't legally married.

You just have to prove it.

That might not be easy if your ex-spouse isn't very forthcoming. Here are some tips on how to gather evidence for court without getting into trouble:

Watch social media for clues

Learn how to take a screenshot and be ready to do it if you see anything on your ex-spouse's Facebook page or Instagram that supports your belief that he or she is cohabiting. If you aren't on your ex's page, you might ask a mutual friend to check for you.

Look for posts and pictures that seem to confirm your ex-spouse's new romantic status and cohabitation.

Hire a private investigator to do surveillance

A private investigator may cost a few dollars upfront, but you could end up saving thousands in the end if your suspicions are correct. An investigator can watch who comes and goes from your ex-spouse's home for several nights and take photos that can be used as evidence. Hiring a professional is also a good way to avoid stalking charges from your ex -- which could happen if you try to spy on him or her yourself!

Use legal tools to request documentation

An attorney can often help you find proof of cohabitation by issuing subpoenas to any landlords or utility companies that service the address your spouse is living. That can reveal who is paying the bills and listed on the rental agreements -- which may be all the proof that you need. Cellphone records (if you can identify the other person) may also be of value, since they can show the owner's location.

Keep in mind that every case is unique. It's always wisest to discuss issues with spousal support with a professional before you take action. That way you know exactly how much you stand to gain -- or lose -- from your efforts.

Source: divorcemag.com, "Proving Cohabitation: 4 Steps to Confirm Your Ex is Living With Someone," Elliot Rysenbry, accessed June 14, 2018

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