Maybe, maybe not….. it depends on what your Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) or Final Judgment says as well as the type of alimony you are receiving. Some MSA’s have a provision that states alimony terminates upon cohabitation with a member of the opposite sex. Some MSA’s even have non-modifiable provisions. A non-modifiable provision means that the Court can not change or modify the alimony award. So, what happens if your MSA or Final Judgment has neither one of those provisions? Well, Florida Statute § 61.14 states that alimony can be modified or terminated if the former spouse who is receiving alimony is in a supportive relationship with another person. Just because you may be living with someone else, does not necessarily mean you are in a supportive relationship.
Florida Statute § 61.14 (1)(b)(2) sets out very specific criteria to consider when determining whether a supportive relationship exists. These criteria are:
a. The extent to which the obligee and the other person have held themselves out as a married couple by engaging in conduct such as using the same last name, using a common mailing address, referring to each other in terms such as “my husband” or “my wife,” or otherwise conducting themselves in a manner that evidences a permanent supportive relationship.
b. The period of time that the obligee has resided with the other person in a permanent place of abode.
c. The extent to which the obligee and the other person have pooled their assets or income or otherwise exhibited financial interdependence.
d. The extent to which the obligee or the other person has supported the other, in whole or in part.
e. The extent to which the obligee or the other person has performed valuable services for the other.
f. The extent to which the obligee or the other person has performed valuable services for the other’s company or employer.
g. Whether the obligee and the other person have worked together to create or enhance anything of value.
h. Whether the obligee and the other person have jointly contributed to the purchase of any real or personal property.
i. Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an express agreement regarding property sharing or support.
j. Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an implied agreement regarding property sharing or support.
k. Whether the obligee and the other person have provided support to the children of one another, regardless of any legal duty to do so.
If you are receiving alimony you should be careful that you do not meet these criteria or you risk having your alimony terminated. On the other hand, if you are paying alimony and your former spouse is residing with another person, you should seriously consider whether you may be able to terminate or modify the alimony amount based on the existence of a supportive relationship.
Our office is experienced in assisting you in either circumstance.
The Law Office of Andrew G. Storie is a family law and divorce attorney who serves Orlando and all of Central Florida. For more information, or if you have questions about the termination or modification of alimony please visit call us at (407) 838-0887 or visit our website at www.storielaw.com.