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ALIMONY REDUCED OR TERMINATE WHEN LIVE WITH SOMEONE WHO SUPPORTS THEM

June 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

 

Modification of Alimony

A trial court may reduce or terminate an alimony award when a former spouse enters into a supportive relationship with an individual with whom they reside. §61.14(1)(b), Fla. Stat. (2015). Section 61.14, Florida Statutes (2015), sets out circumstances that a trial court should consider deciding whether a supportive relationship exists.  The burden of proof is on the party seeking the modification of alimony.  The listed factors 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.

 

For example, in the case of Martin v. Martin, the Fifth District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida was faced with a trial court decision which did not reduce or terminate alimony despite the record reflecting that the couple had held themselves out as Husband and Wife despite not being married and that they were in fact in a supportive relationship.  Accordingly, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decisions and instructed that the trial court decide whether alimony should be terminated or reduced.

If alimony was awarded in your case and you have questions about the modification of alimony or the termination of alimony contact one of our lawyers for a consultation so you know your rights.

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