Alimony in separation agreement to cohabitation Ex

Hello everyone,
My question is about alimony law with a separation agreement which was not entered as a court order.

My ex-wife and I signed and had a separation agreement notarized in North Carolina in which she agreed to 3 years of alimony. She then took me to the cleaners in court, took my children away and moved to Oregon where she promptly moved in with her now fiance. They have been living together about a year now and I am still paying alimony. There is a clause in the agreement for re-marriage but nothing for cohabitation as far as terminating alimony.

My question is therefore twofold:

  1. Since this was agreed upon in North Carolina could I contest the alimony since her fiance is paying bills and they are specifically delaying their wedding until after my alimony payments stop? I had read North Carolina does this in cases of cohabitation.
  2. Since this was not entered into a court order I assume the courts will not make such a modification. Given that being the case is there a process by which I could have it entered and then follow through on step 1?

I understand that for details I will need to contact a lawyer but I’m trying to see if this is even an option for me so I know how to proceed.


Since your separation agreement does not provide for termination of alimony upon cohabitation by the dependent (receiving) spouse, then you cannot contest the alimony payments. NC statutes do provide for alimony to terminate upon certain cohabitation, but since it is not listed in your separation agreement, you have no recourse.

It is correct that the courts will have no basis to modify the alimony and no jurisdiction to modify the alimony terms.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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