Georgia residents are living within a very exciting time in human history. Technology has made astounding advancements in our daily lives, especially in regard to our ability to communicate with one another. In fact, the cell phones we carry are more than just communication devices; they function as tiny personal computers. For spouses who rely on spousal support payments gained in a divorce proceeding, it is important to understand how one’s cell phone data could be used to put an end to those payments.
When a cell phone is turned on, it is sending and receiving signals from nearby cell towers. This system of towers is how cell signals are transmitted, and why reception is better in some areas than in others. These signals are tracked by one’s service provider, and can give an accurate picture of a person’s whereabouts at any time that they have their phone in their possession.
Within many divorce agreements, a clause exists that outlines the conditions under which a former spouse is entitled to the receipt of spousal support. Often, it is stated that if the receiving spouse remarries or begins cohabitating with another partner, the spousal support can be discontinued. Therefore, when one begins to date, it is important to understand when a new relationship can begin to look like cohabitation. If one’s former spouse subpoenas cell tower records and a pattern of overnight visits emerges, it is possible that the paying spouse could approach the court and ask to be released from their spousal support obligations.
In such cases, the party who wishes to continue receiving spousal support would need to present a carefully constructed legal response as to why the payments should be left intact. Cell tower data is very persuasive in court, and it can be difficult to prove that cohabitation is not taking place when partners are spending most of their nights under the same roof. Georgia residents who find themselves in the position of having to defend their spousal support should make every effort to understand their rights under the law before appearing in court.
Source: Huffington Post, “Cohabitation, the Termination of Alimony and Cell Phones,” Diane L. Danois, June 11, 2013