Many people in Florida may view alimony as a form of punishment imposed upon you in your divorce for being in a stronger financial position than your former spouse. Yet after experiencing the transition into your post-divorce life (and the financial difficulties that can accompany it), you likely realize your ex-spouse’s need for it.
This may make meeting your obligation easier, yet that does not mean that your ex-spouse needs to receive such assistance indefinitely. However, they may think it possible to keep you obligated to pay alimony by purposely choosing to avoid remarrying (even if they enter into a new romantic relationship).
Perpetuating the myth
This likely perpetuates the assumption of alimony being a type of punitive action (a message local family courts do not endorse). Thus, the law allows for the opportunity to end your alimony obligation in scenarios where it appears your ex-spouse may be taking advantage of it. Cohabitating with a new partner rather than remarrying is one such scenario. However, if you suspect that to be the case, the burden of proof likely falls to you to make such a case to the court.
Proving your ex-spouse is in a supportive relationship
Per Section 61.14 of Florida’s state statutes, factors that you can show the court to demonstrate that a supportive relationship exists between your ex-spouse and their new partner include:
- The extent that they present themselves to others as a married couple
- If they live together (and for how long)
- Whether they have pooled their collective assets and income
- Whether either one relies on the other’s financial resources
- If they have made any significant purchases together
- Whether they have an express or implied agreement of support between them
If any of these factors exist, the court may indeed view them as sufficient to end your obligation to continue to support your ex-spouse financially.