Spousal support can be a major financial obligation. Even if you agreed to pay an amount that seemed reasonable at the time of your divorce, post-divorce modifications and life changes can make the payments overwhelming.
Making matters worse, you may find yourself feeling that your former spouse is undeserving of spousal support, yet you’re trapped by a court order requiring you to continue to make those payments. You might feel especially cheated out of your hard-earned money if your former spouse is now living with someone else, perhaps even a new love interest.
How does cohabitation affect alimony?
Under Florida law, cohabitation may warrant a reduction or a complete cessation of a spousal support obligation. The key is that you’ll have to demonstrate that the cohabitation is supportive in nature, meaning that the person with whom your former spouse is living is providing financial support to him or her.
How does a court assess whether a supportive relationship exists?
There are a number of factors that may be taken into consideration when analyzing whether cohabitation constitutes a supportive relationship. Here are some of those factors:
- How long your former spouse has been residing with the other individual
- The type of relationship that they present
- Whether the parties have pooled their financial resources
- Any indications that direct financial support has been given to one another
- Evidence that the individual with whom your former spouse resides has provided
services that give support to your former spouse
- If the parties have purchased property together
- How they have supported each other’s children, if at all
- Whether your former spouse and the person with whom he or she is living have combined resources to create something of value
If you can demonstrate that some of these factors are present, then you may be well-positioned to show that the support that you’re paying is no longer necessary.
Gathering evidence to support your request to modify
If you’re going to be filing a motion to modify or stop spousal support, then you’re going to need evidence to support your request. Here’s some evidence that may be helpful for you in your case:
- Evidence that your former spouse is living with someone else, which may be shown by obtaining property records or speaking with neighbors
- Indications that your former spouse and the person with whom he or she is living are in a sexual relationship, which may be demonstrated by your former spouse’s own statements and accounts from friends who know the couple well
- Social media posts that demonstrate that the couple goes on vacations together or buys assets together
- Written correspondence and photographs that show that your former spouse and his or her new love interest are making major decisions together
- Statements from your children that your former spouse and his or her partner are sharing parental responsibilities
- Financial records that indicate that your former spouse is commingling assets with a new love interest
- Bill statements that portray that your former spouse is sharing bills with his or her partner
An attorney may be able to help you with your case
There’s a lot of work to be done if you want to prove that your spouse is cohabitating with another individual and should therefore be cut off from spousal support. But you don’t have to carry the burden of your case on your own. Experienced family law attorneys who are experienced in this area of the law can help you gather evidence and present the persuasive legal arguments that you need on your side.
So, if you’re interested in having an aggressive advocate on your team, then now is the time to reach out to a law firm that you think will best represent your interests.