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Cell phone data to prove ex-spouse's cohabitation

In Connecticut, a judge may order either party to a divorce proceeding to pay alimony to the other party. An alimony award is intended to provide support to the divorcing spouse, and is based on a number of factors. A judge may also terminate alimony payments when the party receiving alimony is determined to no longer need spousal support, as is the case when that person remarries or begins cohabiting with a new partner.

Since it is not a requirement for a person to remarry before alimony is terminated, the person paying alimony may need to prove to the court that the person receiving the support is living with a significant other. The services of a private investigator, although perhaps reliable, can be expensive.

A less-expensive method is by tracing the location of the other party through that person's cellphone. Cell tower location data is stored for multiple years, and it shows the proximate location of the person to whom the cellphone belongs. As long as access to the cell tower location data can be obtained, the records may be used to show the overnight whereabouts of another party over multiple months and even years.

Cell tower data may be helpful in refuting another party's testimony about his or her whereabouts or showing that the individual is not actually living where he or she claims to be living. Additional evidence that the former spouse and new partner are now commingling finances will likely be required. A family law attorney may be able to help a client obtain a termination of an existing spousal support order based upon a change in the financial condition of the recipient.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Using a Cell Phone to Show That Your Former Spouse Is Cohabiting", Diane L. Danois, J.D. , January 24, 2014

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