Cohabitation Issues Following Divorce
Does cohabitation serve as grounds to terminate alimony payments in Florida?
Florida Statute 61.14 was amended in 2005 to provide guidelines for
termination of alimony when it could be proven that the recipient of the alimony award was cohabitating
with another and that a “supportive relationship” existed
between them. This is a change to an earlier law that only allowed the
termination of alimony in the case of re-marriage of the recipient, or
a significant change in financial circumstances of either party.
The party who has been required to pay the
alimony must prove “through a preponderance of the evidence” that such
a supportive relationship exists between the recipient and the person
with whom they are cohabitating. Proving such a case in Jacksonville requires
the help of a Jacksonville
family law attorney who can aggressively deal with the challenges this matter presents.
Criteria for “Supportive Relationships”
Based on the revised statute, even a platonic relationship involving cohabitation
may be viewed as a supportive relationship; there is no requirement to
prove a conjugal relationship and gender has no bearing on the case. An
experienced cohabitation lawyer in Jacksonville can help sort through
the complex issues involved in filing for a termination of alimony due
A number of criteria were delineated to be used to determine the validity
of the supportive relationship of the couple in question. Some of those
- Whether the conduct of the couple in question is put forth as if they are
a married couple (e.g. using the same last name, sharing a common mailing
address, using the phrase “my husband” or “my wife”
when referring to the other, etc.)
- The length of time of cohabitation at a permanent abode.
- The degree to which their income or assets have been combined, showing
that their financial affairs are interdependent.
- How much support either party receives from the other.
- Whether they have made a shared purchase of real estate or personal property.
- Whether it can be proven that they have agreements regarding shared property
- Whether they have supported the child or children of the other.
The amended statute does not require proof of a conjugal relationship,
which means that this statute can apply to even a platonic relationship,
and that gender has no bearing on how the cohabitation relationship is
viewed. This could become a complicated issue and it requires the skills
of an experienced Jacksonville family lawyer.
If you are seeking termination of alimony due to cohabitation,
contact a Jacksonville divorce attorney at
Hutchinson Law today!