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Alimony Modification: Re-marriage and Georgia’s “Live-In” lover Statute

Although there are several grounds for ending alimony, one of the most common is that a party decides to remarry. In these types of cases, O.C.G.A. § 19-6-5(b) indicates that a prior award of alimony can be modified if you decide to get re-married, and the modification will result in terminating your former spouse’s alimony obligation. What many people find surprising, however, is that remarriage is not the exclusive defining test for ending alimony.

Much more common is that after a parties divorce, one of the parties decides to date and eventually decides, without getting remarried, to move into the same residence with their new significant other. The State of Georgia has enacted a law, which is commonly referred to as the “live-in” lover statute, which addresses this exact situation. According to O.C.G.A. § 19-6-19(b), if you and your significant other are living together and having sexual relations, then your former spouse can file for modification of alimony upon the ground that you and your significant other are living together in a meretricious relationship. Adding to the equation, the court will be under the assumption in this type of situation that your need for alimony has just decreased because you are now splitting financial responsibilities with this person.

When deciding whether you want to seek a modification under this type of situation, you need to keep in mind that the court will require that you submit proof of this meretricious relationship.In addition, you must always be mindful that if the judge decides after reviewing the petition and the evidence that your former spouse is not living in a meretricious relationship, then you would be responsible for paying all of your former spouse’s attorney’s fees incurred in defending the action in addition to being responsible for your own attorney’s fees.

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Alimony Modification
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