What is a Cohabitation Investigation?
Through surveillance and other investigative means, a private investigator can help demonstrate and prove whether an ex-spouse has established a common residence and/or a marital-type relationship with a new partner and is benefiting economically from the relationship.
Starting a Cohabitation Investigation
Our process for a cohabitation investigation starts with a phone conversation between you and one of our investigators. In the phone conversation, we’ll ask general questions about your situation, and at the same time, try to answer any questions that you will obviously have for us.
The first determination to make is if conducting an investigation makes sense in your situation. A lot of what goes into making that determination is learning what the terms of your divorce settlement might be (how much money is at stake, how much time is left in the agreement).
Next, we would probably want to talk about what your specific situation looks like…So, we would probably ask some questions along the lines of:
- What information do you actually know?…as well as, What do you not know)?
- What do you suspect is actually happening?
- Why do you suspect this is occurring? (i.e. “My child told me she said…,” “I see her car at his house every night.” or “She and her boyfriend both sold their houses and…”)
- How long do you believe the cohabitation has been going on?
Depending on the situation, we might ask if your ex-spouse’s normal habits and patterns might be:
- Does she have a job? Where does he work?
- Does he have a vehicle that he normally drives?
After some discussion, if it makes sense, we will discuss some strategies that we commonly use in cohabitation investigations to help document, demonstrate and prove cohabitation (GPS Tracking, Trash Pulls, Surveillance, Pre-text Phone Calls).
Over the course of our investigation, we will gather high quality, court-admissible evidence, such as any available documents that suggest a common residence and/or video proving that your ex is engaged in what the court would consider cohabitation. As licensed private investigators, we can discreetly obtain evidence that will put an end to your alimony payments.
When assessing whether cohabitation is occurring, the court will usually consider the following:
- Living together, the frequency of contact, the duration of the relationship, and other indicia of a mutually supportive intimate personal relationship;
- Intertwined finances such as joint bank accounts and other joint holdings or liabilities;
- Sharing or joint responsibility for living expenses;
- Recognition of the relationship in the couple’s social and family circle;
- Sharing household chores;
- Any other relevant evidence.
In evaluating whether cohabitation is occurring and whether alimony should be suspended or terminated, the court can also consider the length of the relationship. A court may not find an absence of cohabitation solely on grounds that the couple does not live together on a full-time basis.