I recently went through mediation/arbitration and was forced to agree to paying alimony to my ex-wife. Approximately, 2 weeks later I found out through old neighbors (and others) that she has been living with someone and he moved prior to signing of the agreement. I hired a PI ($2,000) at the suggestion of the my lawyer and he was unable to come up with anything definitive. Lawyer wants an $8,000 retainer to depose neighbor(s) and other witnesses. This divorce has already cost me close to $25,000 and my credit cards are maxed out. Ex was already notified that I’m ceasing payments as of 1/1/11. Her response was that he has a separate apartment. I have a copy of an email from him telling his ex that his new address is my ex’s address. My question is, will I have a chance to present my case in court if I cease alimony payments and ex has the guts and money to take me to court? Is ex also guilty of fraud? - Thanks in advance for any help.
She is not guilty of fraud, but you may have a good chance at winning any suit she files to attempt to force you to pay alimony.
If I were you (I’m not a lawyer…), I would have the neighbors write up an affidavit about what they know about the date the new beau moved into the home. Have them go to the bank and have it notarized. That is what I would take to court, if it goes there. I really can’t see how it would cost $8,000 to ask the neighbors, under oath (same as a notary is basically doing, asking them if they swear that what they’re signing is the truth), about when the guy moved in.
And, if you have proof that he is claiming to live at that address, then I would stop paying the alimony…as long as co-habitating is reason to cease payments…if you signed an agreement that you would pay alimony until she re-marries (and says nothing about cohabitating), you could be SOL, and stuck paying alimony until she marries, which she probably won’t ever do while she’s getting money from you for alimony.
Just my non-lawyer view…take it for what it’s worth. =)
I heard that signed affidavits are not necessarily that great (are considered hearsay), that a witness on the stand trumps a written statement any day of the week. I could be wrong, but I believe I’ve read that having a separate residence, does not mean that they AREN’T living together. You can cohabit even when people have different addresses. It’s the idea that generally, you are living with someone else (regular and frequent overnights).
This is not correct… A notary only verifies that the person signing the form is who they say they are… They do not attest to the accuracy of, nor are they responsible for, the information written in the document body itself…