Can You Stop Your Alimony Obligation?

Alimony usually terminates upon the remarriage of the former spouse receiving alimony. The logic behind this seems obvious.

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If the former spouse remarries, then he or she no longer requires the support from a former spouse because the new spouse assumes this financial duty. Some people receiving alimony may mistakenly think they can get around the termination of alimony by simply living with their boyfriend or girlfriend without actually getting married; they are trying to have their cake and eat it too.

Can you stop your alimony obligation if your former spouse is living with someone?

The Florida Legislature passed a law (Florida Statute 61.14(1)(b)) to address the reduction or termination of alimony when the former spouse receiving alimony is living with someone. The statute calls it a “supportive relationship”.

If you are paying alimony and your former spouse is in a supportive relationship, you may be able to petition the Court to reduce or even terminate your alimony obligation. This Statute lists numerous circumstances the Court shall consider in determining if a supportive relationship exists between your former spouse and the person he or she has a relationship with. Some of these factors include, the length of time the former spouse and the other person have lived together, the extent the couple holds themselves out as a married couple, and whether the couple has jointly contributed to the purchase of any real or personal property.

It now appears that the boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t even have to be financially supporting the former spouse. In 2013, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals decided in Murphy v. Murphy, 38 FLW D2283 (Fla. 3rd DCA) direct financial support by a boyfriend or girlfriend to the former spouse is not a necessary condition of a supportive relationship. In Murphy, the Court determined a supportive relationship existed where the exact opposite was true; a supportive relationship existed, which allowed for a reduction in alimony, when the former spouse was the one providing financial support. In essence, the Court said you should not be obligated to help support your  former spouse’s boyfriend or girlfriend. If this is happening, then there is an argument to be made that the current alimony amount exceeds your former spouses’ apparent need.

Would you like a better understanding of the role emotions can play in a divorce?  Take a moment and download my free e-bookDoes Every Divorce Need a Shark?

Need help understanding the definition of a supportive relationship? Would you like more information on how you can stop your alimony obligation? Contact me online, call my toll free number: 877-687-1392, or call my local number: 239-210-7516.

Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?

Divorce What is Alimony?

By Kristianna Rodriguez, Associate Attorney at Grossman Law and Conflict Management

What Is Alimony

Alimony is always a hot topic when it comes to divorce.

People make jokes about it, have been burned by it, and it is generally of concern to both potential payees and payors in a divorce setting. This post is for you if you are considering divorce, and would like to understand alimony.

What is alimony? The concept of alimony goes way back in our history and it derives from the state’s interest to not only attempt to keep marriages intact, but to also make sure a dependent spouse does not become dependent on the state.

Historically, the wife had moved into a homemaker role during the marriage. Over time, the roles in families have changed, and more husbands have even taken the role of homemaker. Many times, either the husband or wife have given up educational and career opportunities. At the end of the marriage, one of them typically has greater income earning ability.

It is for this reason alimony is still considered in divorce proceedings, particularly for mid-term to long-term marriages. Mid-term (or moderate term) marriages are defined by law as being  7-17 years; whereas long-term marriages are considered as 17 years or more of marriage.

In Florida, there has been a push by legislators and lobbying groups to move away from the longer and stricter forms of alimony, such as permanent alimony. Husbands and wives are becoming more equal in their marital roles and their income earning potentials. Therefore, some argue the need for alimony is not present in the modern age.

In Florida, there is no exact way to determine what alimony amount will be ordered in a divorce case. There are no alimony calculations like there are for child support. Alimony is based on many factors. First, the Judge has to determine if there is a need for alimony and if there is an ability to pay alimony. Then, the Judge has to consider 10 factors listed in Florida Statute 61.08(2). Alimony is a complicated issue, and should be taken seriously by payors and payees. A lawyer relies upon their knowledge of the law and experience to help the client understand what to expect.

Contact Kristianna directly at

Thinking about a divorce? Interested in learning more about what to expect? Download the free e-Book: Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?

Have additional questions about the topic “what is alimony”? Email, or call toll free: 877-687-1392, or locally: 239-210-7516.

Does Every Divorce Need a Shark