Living in Man’s House Doesn’t End Alimony

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals says ending alimony after divorce takes more than showing that the wife/recipient lives in a house owned by a member of the opposite sex. In McNatt v. McNatt, No. 2030638 (Ala. Civ. App. January 14, 2005), the court reversed the finding of a trial court that the wife had been cohabitating with a member of the opposite sex.

The appeals court said, “To evaluate the permanency of a relationship to determine whether a former spouse is cohabiting with a member of the opposite sex, this court has considered whether the former spouse is sharing a dwelling with a member of the opposite sex; whether the former spouse has ceased to date other members of the opposite sex; payment of the former spouse’s creditors by a member of the opposite sex; and the purchase of clothes for the former spouse by a member of the opposite sex.”

In the McNatt case, the appeals court noted that the evidence showed only that the wife/recipient lived in an apartment owned by her employer and that there was no evidence of any sexual relationship between her and the employer. The wife/recipient testified that she paid rent on the apartment and denied any romantic or sexual relationship.

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