, Derry, New Hampshire

Crime / Court

May 24, 2012

N.H. courts find defining cohabitation a challenge


This is where five dictionaries were consulted. Cases from five other jurisdictions were also reviewed. So was the old "Corpus Juris Secundum," the law books in the introduction to the classic "Perry Mason" TV show.

Cohabitation, the decision holds, can be found after considering a number of factors set out in four paragraphs. Financial arrangements, sharing of expenses, joint accounts, the extent of the personal relationship and other factors would add up to a finding of cohabitation where the relationship resembles that of marriage.

Common use of appliances, furniture, vehicles and whether one person maintains personal items such as toiletries or clothing at the residence of the other are final deal-makers in matter of Raybeck and Raybeck, decided May 11, 2012, in the N.H. Supreme Court.

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Andrew Myers of Derry has law offices in Derry and North Andover. He is a member of the American Association for Justice and the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association. Send questions to

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