Alimony and shacking up

Typical alimony is terminable upon remarriage. McDonald v. McDonald, 683 So. 2d 929, 931 (Miss. 1996).What people don’t know is that they put their alimony at risk if they live with someone outside of marriage. The law on this issue is fluid and changing. It started with holdings that having sexual relations with someone outside of marriage was immoral and could result in the loss of alimony. Rubisoff v. Rubisoff, 242 Miss. 225, 233, 133 So. 2d 534, 536 (1961).The courts reasoned that one should not be able to benefit financially from not remarrying. More recent decisions turned away from the morality issue and more towards the support issue. The court held that living with someone creates a presumption of mutual support and the court should inquire as to whether or not the mutual support requires a reduction or termination of alimony. Hammonds v. Hammonds, 641 So. 2d 1211 (Miss. 1994); McRae v. McRae, 381 So. 2d 1052 (Miss. 1980) As is the case in most areas of law, different factual circumstances impact our decisions. In a recent case, the woman receiving alimony admitted that she was living with a man, but denied that there were sexual relations, but admitted that he was helping to support her. Under normal circumstances, one might conclude that this would terminate her alimony; however, in this case, the proof showed that the woman was mentally incompetent and unable to work and that she could not survive without the support of both her live-in friend and the alimony. Therefore, it was proper to leave the alimony in place. Heiter V. Heiter, NO. 2014-CA-01227-SCT (Decided June 9, 2016)

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