Alimony Can Be Modified if You're in a Supportive Relationship
A: Florida Statutes specifically provide for reduction or termination of alimony if the court finds that a supportive relationship has existed. This type of complex set of relationship dynamics was in play in a recent Florida law says that, in order to be a “supportive relationship,” a. In , the Florida legislature codified existing common law to provide that a financially supportive relationship could form the basis to reduce.
Are Former Wife and Supportive Partner cohabiting full or part-time? Do they share a home, a bed; full or part-time single or separate bedrooms in home? Is there any evidence of a conjugal or intimate relationship from social networking sites, witness friends and family, photos, etc.
Do Parties have a child together? Are they socially exclusive?
Have they expressed an intention to remain together or marry? Do they refer to one another as husband and wife? Do they provide emotional support for one another?
What Is (Or Is Not) a Supportive Relationship When it Comes to Calculating Alimony in Florida
Do they share holidays together? Do they host social events together? Do they attend family functions together weddings, funerals, etc. Do they share household chores?
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Do they cook for one another? Do they share household expenses — repairs, maintenance, upkeep of property, groceries, etc.? Is Supportive Partner making full or partial monthly payments by cash or check directly to mortgage company, landlord, credit card companies, cell phone companies, maid service, utility companies, lawn care, security, etc.
Is Supportive Partner making monthly in-kind reimbursement by doing household chores, pool maintenance, car repairs, etc.? If so, is Supportive Partner charging market rate or substantially reduced rate for his services? Do the parties pool their assets? Is Former Wife claiming rental payments on her taxes? The extent to which the obligee or the other person has supported the other, in whole or in part.
The extent to which the obligee or the other person has performed valuable services for the other. Whether the obligee and the other person have worked together to create or enhance anything of value. Whether the obligee and the other person have jointly contributed to the purchase of any real or personal property.
Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an express agreement regarding property sharing or support. Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an implied agreement regarding property sharing or support.
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 a modification based on a support relationship, it is essential to prove as many of the statutory factors set forth above to increase your chances of success. A common law marriage cannot be created in Florida.
Florida Law Update - Alimony and Cohabitation - Florida Divorce Source
One Florida appellate court held that once the supportive relationship is established, alimony must be reduced or eliminated. Most Florida appellate courts have held establishing a supportive relationship only shifts the burden to the recipient to prove a continued need for alimony and that alimony is not automatically reduced or terminated.
A good example is the recent case of Gregory v. In Gregory, the former husband established existence of a supportive relationship and the court then looked to the former wife to satisfy her burden of proving continued need for alimony.
She also made substantial gifts to her son. All of this demonstrated that the former wife no longer needed alimony. These cases require the judge to interpret the statute and apply the law to the facts.
Presentation of evidence is critical. I recommend you retain an experienced attorney to first review your situation and, if warranted, proceed with court action and expert presentation of evidence to the court. Morris is an attorney whose practice covers a broad range of subjects, including civil litigation, real estate, business and corporate law, estate planning and probate, domestic relations and contracts.
He writes this column periodically with respect to legal matters that frequently affect non-lawyers.