Few may argue that family dynamics today differ from what they may have been in years past. One example of this is the attitude towards cohabitation. Per study information shared by the Pew Research Center, nearly 70% of American adults believe it OK to cohabitate with a romantic partner even if one has no plans to marry.
Many people in Florida may have different reasons as to why they cohabitate rather than marry. Yet if one’s reason is to ensure that their ex-spouse remains committed to paying them alimony, the sincerity of their desires may come into question.
Understanding Florida’s alimony laws
The general purpose of alimony who is to help one left financially disadvantaged by their divorce successfully transition into their post-divorce lives. In most cases, however, that help is not meant to be permanent. Typically, an alimony obligation only remains in place until the one receiving it secures gainful employment or remarries. It is the latter criteria that may prompt some to think that as long as they remain legally single (even after entering into a new romantic relationship), their ex-spouse must still pay them alimony.
Yet that is not the case. The law permits one obligated to pay alimony to petition to have their obligation reduced or ended if their ex-spouse enters into a supportive relationship.
Proof of a supportive relationship
It falls to one initiating such a petition to prove that such a relationship exists. Per Section 61.15 of Florida’s state statutes, elements that prove such a relationship may be:
- Whether a couple has comingled their assets
- Whether an agreement (either expressed or implied) exists between a couple to support each other
- Whether a couple has purchased anything of value together
The mere fact that a couple lives together may not be sufficient to show a supportive relationship exists.