Although an award of permanent alimony can be modified or terminated for a number of reasons, the newest and currently most popular reason is cohabitation by the former spouse who is receiving alimony. The rules governing termination and modification of alimony were fairly recently modified to allow termination or modification of alimony where a supportive relationship exists between the former spouse receiving alimony and a person with whom the former spouse resides.
Florida Statute § 61.14 (1)(b)(2) sets out very specific criteria to consider when determining weather a supportive relationship exists. These criteria include whether the former spouse receiving alimony and the person with whom they live: (1) have been holding themselves out as married (2) lived together long (3) intermingled their finances or supported one another (4) purchased land or other assets jointly; or (5) contributed services to one another or to the other’s business.
As a result, if you are paying or receiving alimony you should consider whether cohabitation is applicable to you in possibly allowing the termination or modification of alimony. 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. Call Mark Dubose at 352-327-3643 or visit our website at www.mygainesvillelawyer.com for more information about the termination or modification of alimony.