(CN) – An Arizona woman should not have lost her spousal support because her boyfriend stayed over once a week, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled.
When Marc and Scarlet Chopin divorced in 2007, the decree called for Marc to pay Scarlet $2,500 per month, with the amount dropping to $1,000 in 2013.
The agreement called for the spousal maintenance to end if she lives with another man, with the exception of “A.R.,” with whom both parties anticipated Scarlet would live.
Instead, Scarlet struck up a relationship with Robert Waddell. They were engaged through most of 2008 before the relationship ended.
Marc petitioned the court to end his spousal support on the basis of the new couple’s co-habitation, which Scarlet denied.
The trial court and court of appeals agreed that the proper definition of “romantic co-habitation” was “living together and behaving as a married couple.”
However, the appeals court ruled that the lower court improperly applied that definition to Scarlet and Waddell because they did not live together.
“Waddell testified that, during a six-month period, he spent one out of every six days at wife’s house, Judge Daniel Barker wrote. “Husband presented no substantial evidence that Waddell spent more time at Wife’s home.”
Barker overturned the trial court’s decision to halt Scarlet’s spousal maintenance.