Despite the circumstances that led to your divorce in Sarasota, you may have no issue in helping your ex-spouse move on after your marriage has ended. That may include paying them spousal support (if you were the primary wage-earner in your marital home). Yet the purpose of spousal support is not for your to remain indebted to your ex-spouse indefinitely. If they have come to rely on that support as part of their income, they may look to do all they can to keep you obligated to pay it.
This may include refusing to remarry once they find a new romantic partner. They may believe that if they instead choose to cohabitate, the requirement that your support obligation continues until they remarry remains in place. Yet according to Section 61.14 of Florida’s state statutes, you can your alimony obligation if you are able to show that your ex-spouse has entered into a supportive relationship.
When determining whether or not your ex-spouse’s is being supported by your new partner, the court considers factors such as:
- The length of time that the two have lived together
- The extent to which the two of them have pooled their assets and/or income
- The extent to which both have performed valuable services for each other
- Whether the two have made any major purchases together
- Whether the two have worked together to create or enhance something of value (e.g. restore a home)
- If your spouse’s new partner has supported your children financially in any way
The court will also consider social factors, such as whether your ex-spouse and their partner have presented themselves to others as a married couple. The burden of proof in making the claim that their relationship is indeed supportive falls to you.