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?

     Posted on February 15, 2014 at 8:00 am | No comment

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