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Can your ex-spouse cohabitate and still receive alimony?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2020 | family law |

Alimony can often be a contentious topic during divorce proceedings in Shalimar. Yet if the court hearing your case deems it necessary for you to support your ex-spouse (at least as they transition into post-divorce life), you may ultimately have no issue paying it. 

Yet what if your ex-spouse intentionally avoids those actions that would make paying them alimony no longer necessary? Is there legal recourse available to you if (when they enter into a relationship with a new partner) they choose to cohabitate instead of marry? 

Uncovering a supportive relationship 

Local family courts understand that a marriage certificate does not necessarily need to be present to prove that a couple is supporting each other. Thus the legal mechanisms are in place to end your alimony obligation if your ex-spouse has indeed entered into a supportive relationship. Per Section 61.14 of Florida’s state statutes, the elements the court considers when identifying that they are in such a relationship include: 

  • If they live with their new partner, the amount of time they have lived together  
  • The extent to which they have pooled their financial resources with their new partner 
  • Whether their new partner has worked to contribute anything of value to them or their employer 
  • If they have worked with their new partner to enhance a valuable asset or property 

In the end, even your ex-spouse presenting their new relationship as a de-facto marriage to others may be proof of a supportive relationship 

Meeting the burden of proof 

You should be aware, however, that absent extraordinary circumstances, the court will not monitor your ex-spouse’s current relationship status on its own. Thus the burden of proof falls to you to show that your ex-spouse is in a supportive relationship (and thus no longer needs alimony).