When the Florida courts make a determination regarding the type, duration and amount of alimony, they do so with the utmost consideration. For this reason, most judges will require one or both parties of an alimony agreement to show sufficient grounds to request a modification to support orders. Section 61.14 of the Florida Statutes clearly details when a alimony recipient’s involvement in a new relationship is grounds for the reduction or termination of alimony.
If you, as the obligor, petition to reduce or terminate spousal support because your former spouse is in a new relationship, you must present to the court written findings that he or she resides with the person with whom he or she is involved. However, it is not enough to show that your former spouse lives with a new partner. The courts will want to assess the extent and seriousness of the new relationship before doing anything as drastic as terminating or reducing alimony.
When considering your petition, the presiding judge will give consideration to your former spouse’s new relationship. Factors the courts will consider include the extent to which the recipient and his or her new partner behave like a married couple (i.e., Do they share a common mailing address, refer to each other as “husband” and “wife” and/or support one another?); the length of time the couple has resided; whether the obligee and his or her new partner exhibit financial interdependence; whether the parties purchased property together; whether the parties have mutually contributed to the improvement of property; to what extent each party supports the other or performs valuable services (i.e., home maintenance, yard work, school pickup and drop-off, etc.); and whether either party has provided support to the other’s child, despite lack of a legal duty to do so, among other factors.
You should not use this article as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.