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Can your ex cohabitate with another and still receive alimony?

You may understand the court's decision to award your ex-spouse alimony following your divorce in Sarasota, especially if you were the primary wage-earner during your marriage. Helping out financially until they are able to support themselves may be no problem; what could frustrate you, however, is them purposely trying to prolong you having to pay alimony. In such a case, your payments go from being a needed means of support to almost a form of punishment. 

The law reflects your frustration in such cases, which is why guidelines have been enacted that can impact your alimony obligation if it is shown that your ex-spouse no longer needs it. Say that they enter into a relationship with a new romantic partner, yet avoid getting married in order to keep receiving alimony. If this happens, the court will review the relationship to see if it is indeed supportive. According to Section 61.14 of Florida's state statutes, factors that it considers include: 

  • The extent to which your ex-spouse and their new partner present themselves as a married couple
  • How long the two have cohabitated
  • If the two have pooled their resources to support each other
  • If your ex-spouse's new partner is also providing support for your children
  • If the two have purchased property together
  • If the two have worked together to enhance something of value

If the relationship is viewed as being supportive, the court can decide to reduce your alimony obligation or to end it altogether. 

Of course, the court can only do this if it is made aware of the situation. Thus, it is up to you to bring it to light, and the burden of proof may fall to you to prove that the two are indeed in a romantic relationship. 

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Law Office of Philip J. Schipani
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Sarasota, FL 34236

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