In 2005, the Florida Statutes were revised to make it easier to terminate an alimony obligation. Under the old law, an alimony obligation could be terminated if the receiving spouse remarried. Many receiving spouse got around this rule (and continued to receive alimony) by simply living with their new love interest.
The revised statute allows for the termination of alimony when the paying spouse can prove that the receiving spouse is “cohabitating’ and that a “supportive relationship” exists. The burden is on the paying spouse to prove this situation.
The revised statute sets forth various factors for the court to weigh in making a determination of whether a “supportive relationship” exists. The main factors are:
- The length of time of the cohabitation,
- The extent to which assets or income have been pooled or combined,
- The extent to which they have acted as a married couple,
- The extent to which either party gets support from the other (and for how long), and
- The extent to which they have supported the children of the other.
It is important to note that the statute does not require that there be a sexual relationship for there to be a “supportive relationship.” In theory, a receiving spouse could be in a supportive relationship with his/her parents or adult children!
Obviously, these are complicated issues. Please consider calling an experienced Jacksonville cohabitation – alimony lawyer for more information.