Alimony & Spousal Support

Former Wife Did Not Derive An Economic Benefit From Her Frequent Male Visitor To Terminate Alimony

In the family law, alimony case of Coshland v. Coshland, No. 20-778, App. Div. the defendant Edward Coshland, Sr. appealed from a Family Part order denying his motion to terminate alimony payments.  The defendant filed the motion contending that his former spouse, plaintiff Mary E. Coshland was cohabitating with a boyfriend, J.C. In finding defendant failed to prove cohabitation, the motion judge held that although the male was a frequent visitor and guest, plaintiff did not derive an economic benefit from his presence at the residence. Defendant contended that the judge erred in concluding plaintiff did not derive an economic benefit from her cohabitation with J.C. Moreover, the judge erred in failing to shift the burden to plaintiff to prove there was not economic benefit once defendant established a prima facie case of cohabitation. The appellate panel affirmed the motion judge’s decision. Apart from proving defendant’s frequent overnight stays at plaintiff’s residence, defendant failed to present any evidence in support of an intimate relationship in which plaintiff and J.C. shared the duties any privileges that are commonly associated with marriage. The appellate panel affirmed the judge’s decision which found that defendant failed to establish cohabitation. The panel rejected defendant’s contention that the motion judge exceeded her authority in questioning witnesses at the plenary hearing.

Reference: Case & Analysis, New Jersey Law Journal, 221 N.J.L.J. 835 (September 7, 2015)

Filed Under: Family Law; Alimony; Termination of Alimony; Cohabitation

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