After the divorce is over and the former spouses have moved on with their lives, often the spouse receiving alimony develops a new love interest. Sometimes that leads to another marriage. What happens to the alimony award required in the Florida divorce court order?
The alimony will end when there is a remarriage by the receiving spouse unless there is an agreement and court order specifically to the contrary. Those types of agreements and orders are extremely rare.
Suppose, though, that there is no remarriage. Suppose instead that the alimony receiving spouse merely becomes involved in a live-in arrangement with the new love interest. What happens then?
Florida divorce law allows that alimony can be reduced or even terminated if the receiving spouse becomes involved in a “supportive relationship" with another person. The court will look at a number of factors: whether the two people in the relationship have held themselves out as husband and wife even though not married, used the same last name, shared a mailing address, lived together for a long time, pooled their assets, supported each other, performed valuable services for each other or for the other’s company or employer, worked together to create or enhance something of value, purchased real or personal property together, or provided support to each other’s children.
In the distant past it was not nearly as common for people to live together without marriage. Because it is now so common, the law recognizes that the circumstances of living together can justify termination of an alimony obligation just as in a case of the spouse getting married again.
Bottom line: If there is alimony involved with your former spouse, you need to contact a local divorce lawyer if you are receiving the alimony and are thinking of moving in with someone else or if you are paying alimony and your spouse has moved in with someone.
Sign up to receive a 10-part series of useful information and legal advice about the divorce process.