How To Terminate Alimony in Florida
Alimony, otherwise known as spousal support, can serve a valuable purpose in a divorce. Alimony provides financial support to the lesser earning spouse and allows that person to transition into becoming financially independent after the divorce is finalized. However, circumstances for both former spouses can change after a divorce and there may come a time when one spouse wishes to terminate alimony payments to the other. But does Florida law allow for the termination of alimony payments after a divorce? In some cases, the answer is yes, and the experienced divorce attorney at the office of Steve W. Marsee in Orlando can help.
Voluntary Termination of Alimony
The first and easiest way to terminate alimony payments is by voluntary termination. This can happen in a couple of different ways. The couple can agree that alimony payments terminate after a set period of time or after a triggering event, like the lesser earning spouse finding full time employment. The couple can also agree at any time after the divorce that alimony payments are no longer needed and voluntarily agree to terminate payments from one spouse to the other.
Statutory Termination of Alimony
Florida state law also provides for situations where alimony automatically terminates after a divorce. The first statutory situation is upon the death of either spouse. Alimony payments are between spouses, not their estates, and the spouses’ heirs are not entitled to that money. Therefore, if either former spouse dies the payments automatically terminate. The second situation where alimony terminates automatically is upon the remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony payments. Because that spouse will be receiving financial support from their new spouse, the alimony is no longer necessary.
Termination of Alimony Due to Cohabitation
There is one other situation where the paying spouse can petition the court to terminate alimony payments to their former spouse, and this occurs when the receiving spouse is cohabitating, but not married to, another person. Florida law defines cohabitation as a living arrangement where the spouse receiving alimony is living with, and receiving financial assistance from, another person that is not related by blood or marriage. The court looks at a number of factors when determining whether a living situation rises to the level of cohabitation:
- Whether the living partners claim to be married, use the same last name, or the same mailing address
- How long they have lived together
- How much financial assistance the living partners provide for one another
- Whether the cohabitants work together or one works for the other
- Whether the living partners have purchased property together, and
- Any other factors that prove a financial relationship between living partners
If the court determines that the spouse receiving alimony payments is cohabitating with another person, the paying spouse can petition the court to terminate alimony payments.
Call The Office Today
To learn more about when spousal support payments can be terminated or to answer any other questions you may have about Florida divorces, contact an Orlando family law attorney at the office of Steve W. Marsee today.