By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Alimony on Friday, July 31, 2015.

After a divorce, alimony may be awarded. The amount of alimony is based on a variety of factors. But when an alimony recipient cohabitates with someone special, alimony can be modified. Here’s how.

Cohabitation is very frustrating to the person who pays alimony – and these days it can be women paying alimony too – because the alimony recipient may be either:

(1) using the money to support their girlfriend or boyfriend, or

(2) they may be receiving money from their new partner.

I’ve written about alimony, and especially the annual attempt to change Florida’s alimony laws before. In Florida, cohabitation is referred to as a “supportive relationship.”

In Florida, our statute allows a court to reduce or terminate an award of alimony if a supportive relationship exists between the recipient of alimony and the person the alimony recipient resides with.

In determining whether a supportive relationship exists, the court considers the following:

a. The extent to which the obligee and the other person have held themselves out as a married couple.

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.

But simply proving a supportive relationship is not enough. People can waive their right to seek modification of alimony in a settlement agreement.

Cohabitation is not as easy to prove as you might think. Even if you can prove a supportive relationship, you must check your agreement to see if you can even modify alimony.

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