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Technology might affect Connecticut alimony disputes

People's use of cellphones other types of mobile technology are making it easier for forward-thinking family law attorneys to prove cohabitation. Many former spouses who are receiving support payments may rely on the relative difficulty involved in proving cohabitation accusations to shield them during contested alimony negotiations, but some family law attorneys are using cellphone location data to help improve a client's petition to stop spousal support.

A California divorce attorney used a spouse's cellphone location data, in addition to other evidence, to demonstrate cohabitation and negotiate a positive settlement. In a different case, a Florida attorney used similar data to his clients benefit. The data was used to reduce expenses associated with gathering other sources of information. A third case, which took place in Virginia, used the location data to support private investigator reports regarding the whereabouts of the person receiving the payments.

The evidence works by using location data of a person's cellphone at a given time as an objective way to determine that person's location. While some judges are impressed by the technology's application, other judges are waiting for precedents to be set by other jurisdictions before embracing the trend.

A spousal support award is used to maintain a person's quality of life after the end of a marriage. However, when the person receiving payments becomes involved in a marriage-like relationship that provides financial support, the alimony payments may be stopped. As in the cases discussed above, individuals in Connecticut who are seeking to end a support obligation may benefit from working with an attorney who has experience using cellphone tower location data to demonstrate cohabitation.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How to Identify the Trend-Setting Professionals Paving New Ways to Support Termination of Alimony Claims", Diane L. Danois, May 19, 2014

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