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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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I have a female friend who was divorced in a nasty case. All

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I have a female friend who was divorced in a nasty case. All their children have reached majority and all testified against their father for abuse (primarily non-physical). He moved out of state with his girlfriend and alimony ordered. The ex-husband of my friend is always pays alimony late, sometimes by months which places a terrible burden but doing anything out of state is almost impossible. With the weakness in the economy, her ex-husband lost his job and asked for an alimony reduction. He had married his girlfriend and managed to buy a very nice home and 2 BMWs, without helping the children's expenses at all. In the meantime, a second daughters found it necessary to move back home to live with their mother in a cramped home. While away, the daughter married and had a baby that also lives with them. Both girls are in college to improve their job skills and working part-time. The ex-husband of the daughter with the baby does not pay the support that the court ordered but he cannot be located. My friend is finding it necessary to pay rent, food, and schooling for the two daughters and some pre-school for her grandchild. With both ex-husbands out of state it is difficult to get support paid,so my friend is working two jobs, and overseeing a charitable business started before all this occurred and sitting with her grandson when she can. I was not involved with my until after most of this was over. I did not even know the situation since I had no contact (not even a phone call) with her for over 30 years. I had been married and lived in another state...we had dated in college. My wife of 30 years left me and we divorced before any of this took place. After I had been divorced for several years, I called the my friend just to see how she was doing and I heard part of this story. We started seeing each other, and after several years she asked me to move to Virginia. After some time, we discussed living together and get married if eveything worked out well for us and our chilren. I have two that are happily married. I agreed to move into a comfortable home in in Virginia where she lived. As I moved, one of her daughters moved back home. In about a year the other returned with her beautiful baby. This killed our plans for she would not live with me and her girls and grandchild. However, she is now gone thought such an difficult time, and I have had expensive medical problems, that she might be willing to give it a try. But, she is receiving the alimony and wants her ex-husband to pay it after all he has done to her and how he has done nothing to help the daughters. So, I'm sure you know my question by now. Is there a way for us to live in VA under the same roof, even if we maintain separate rooms so we can reduce both of our living expensive in order to remove some of this stress. Would it help if we got engaged, or find something to do in order to be able to share expenses without her losing the alimony. At least until we marry, which she does not want to force on her children for fear thay may feel that they should move. Their moving is certainly not necessary for I get along well with her family.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX apologize for long note which I trust will remain private.
Needing Advice Badly,

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good morning.You can rent a room from her.Thats the only way I see to get around the cohabitation clause of her spousal sup[port.If you live together or remarry here the ex is likely going to file to end the spousal support.Most decrees have this kind of language.By signing a lease of some kind here you can argue that you are a tenant of hers.If there is not sufficient room here to make this appear possible you have to decide here whether she is willing to give up the spousal support.

RayAnswers :

And you may decide to let this drag on awhile to make sure of what you want to do in this situation based on the above information.

RayAnswers :

Law for referrence

RayAnswers :

Virginia Code section 20-109. Changing maintenance and support for a spouse; effect of stipulations as to maintenance and support for a spouse; cessation upon cohabitation, remarriage or death.

A. Upon petition of either party the court may increase, decrease, or terminate the amount or duration of any spousal support and maintenance that may thereafter accrue, whether previously or hereafter awarded, as the circumstances may make proper. Upon order of the court based upon clear and convincing evidence that the spouse receiving support has been habitually cohabiting with another person in a relationship analogous to a marriage for one year or more commencing on or after July 1, 1997, the court shall terminate spousal support and maintenance unless (i) otherwise provided by stipulation or contract or (ii) the spouse receiving support proves by a preponderance of the evidence that termination of such support would be unconscionable. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all orders and decrees for spousal support, regardless of the date of the suit for initial setting of support, the date of entry of any such order or decree, or the date of any petition for modification of support.

B. The court may consider a modification of an award of spousal support for a defined duration upon petition of either party filed within the time covered by the duration of the award. Upon consideration of the factors set forth in subsection E of § 20-107.1, the court may increase, decrease or terminate the amount or duration of the award upon finding that (i) there has been a material change in the circumstances of the parties, not reasonably in the contemplation of the parties when the award was made or (ii) an event which the court anticipated would occur during the duration of the award and which was significant in the making of the award, does not in fact occur through no fault of the party seeking the modification. The provisions of this subsection shall apply only to suits for initial spousal support orders filed on or after July 1, 1998, and suits for modification of spousal support orders arising from suits for initial support orders filed on or after July 1, 1998.

C. In suits for divorce, annulment and separate maintenance, and in proceedings arising under subdivision A 3 or subsection L of § 16.1-241, if a stipulation or contract signed by the party to whom such relief might otherwise be awarded is filed before entry of a final decree, no decree or order directing the payment of support and maintenance for the spouse, suit money, or counsel fee or establishing or imposing any other condition or consideration, monetary or nonmonetary, shall be entered except in accordance with that stipulation or contract. If such a stipulation or contract is filed after entry of a final decree and if any party so moves, the court shall modify its decree to conform to such stipulation or contract.

D. Unless otherwise provided by stipulation or contract, spousal support and maintenance shall terminate upon the death of either party or remarriage of the spouse receiving support. The spouse entitled to support shall have an affirmative duty to notify the payor spouse immediately of remarriage at the last known address of the payor spouse.


RayAnswers :

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Good Morning,
Thank you for your note, however, am a bit confused. I was under the impresson that my one prior answer from your organzation was the extent of our relationship. I have other legal representation, but wanted to ask you about living arrangements for my friend and me without her losing alimony. I appreciated your reply, especially since I have cancer. She and I would like to live under the same roof, but with my health problems it is foolish to marry for it would terrible for her to lose her alimony and then me, or vice-versa.
If I have any other relationship beyond the one matter I asked about, kindly let me know. That was my understanding. The choice I made was limited to that one question. I appreciate your reply for I have only become a Virginia resident in the last few years. If other questions should arise (which could easily be the case), I will contact you to review which of your services I may desire, in addition to what your charges would be for those services.
Thank you and enjoy the holidays,
Good afternoon.If you cohabitate here--move in with her it is possible that the ex husband here would seek to modify and end alimony on that basis.It is a very real possibility because the ex is likely looking for any such excuse to quit paying.You and her have to decide if you are willing to take the chance.