My spouse cheated on me/I cheated on my spouse, how will that affect my case?
If you engage in a sexual relationship with someone who is not your spouse prior to your date of divorce, that is considered adultery in both North and South Carolina.
If you engage in a sexual relationship with someone who is not your spouse prior to separation (in North Carolina) or the signing of a final settlement agreement or date of divorce (in South Carolina), that act of adultery could result in significant legal and financial ramifications.
If you are the dependent spouse seeking alimony, but the supporting spouse has evidence you committed adultery, you will be barred from receiving alimony. On the other hand, if you are the supporting spouse, you committed adultery, and your spouse has evidence of the adultery, you will likely be required to pay alimony.
My spouse is moving in with his or her new partner (or I want to move in with mine); how does that affect my case?
To prove “cohabitation” in North Carolina, the supporting spouse must show that a dependent spouse is living with someone else in a romantic relationship that provides economic benefits similar to those that are provided in a marriage relationship.
“Cohabitation” in South Carolina is defined as when the supporting spouse can prove that the dependent spouse has resided with another person in a romantic relationship for more than 90 consecutive days.
If you are seeking to collect spousal support as a dependent spouse, but then move in with a new dating partner, you will likely not be eligible to receive spousal support. The reasoning behind this rule is that your former spouse should not have to provide financial support for you when you are living with another adult who can theoretically provide the same type of support. If you are currently receiving spousal support as a dependent spouse, but then begin cohabitating with your dating partner, spousal support will typically terminate.
If you are the supporting spouse and find out that your former spouse who receives spousal support/alimony has begun cohabitating, you can request that alimony be terminated.
Lindsey Dasher is the Managing Partner at Dasher Law PLLC