Ending alimony due to cohabitation

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2020 | Florida Family Law |

Alimony can help one transition in their post-divorce life in Spring Hill, yet it is typically not meant to be a source of assistance that lasts forever. The hope is that at some point, those receiving it will no longer need their ex-spouse’s support. 

They may reach that point upon entering into a relationship with a new partner (indeed, information shared by the Pew Research Center lists financial considerations as among the most common factors a couple chooses to live together). Yet can one receiving alimony keep their ex-spouse obligated to pay it by choosing to cohabitate rather than remarry? 

Entering into a supportive relationship 

Remarriage or the deaths of either party involved in an alimony agreement are typically what triggers the end of an indefinite alimony agreement. Some might see this as meaning that as long as they do not remarry, they will continue to receive alimony. However, the law recognizes that cohabitation can often take the place of marriage (at least from a financial perspective). Thus, when determining if alimony should still go one who is cohabitating with a new partner, Florida’s state statutes dictate that family court officials consider several elements, including: 

  • The extent to which the couple presents themselves as married to others 
  • The amount of time the couple has lived together 
  • Whether the couple has made any significant purchases together 
  • The extent to which the couple has pooled their financial resources together 
  • If a written or express agreement of support exists between the couple 

Proving alimony is no longer needed 

The court will typically not launch an investigation into such a situation on its own, however. Rather, the burden of proof falls to the spouse obligated to pay alimony to prove that their ex-spouse no longer needs it due to being in a supportive relationship.