Alimony Definition May Be Different Than You Thought
You know the feeling. The butterflies that your intended soul mate once gave you have been replaced with the sour stomach feeling you used to only get after drinking cheap tequila. The laugh that was once music to your ears has become more unbearable to listen to than a Nickelback song and the water boarding scenes in Zero Dark Thirty didn’t seem so bad when you thought of having to leave the theater to go back home to your other half. You couldn’t wait for the time when you could wave your divorce decree high in the air, symbolizing your freedom from the hellish bonds of matrimony. Except when the day finally came, it wasn’t as sweet as you had imagined. It turns out you were ordered to make alimony payments which cheapen the sense of freedom you had expected, knowing that your devil incarnate of an ex still had her claws in you (just as she had promised when you first informed her that you were hightailing it the hell out of Dodge).
Sorry, There is NO Alimony Calculator
Despite all this, you have chosen to let go of the negativity that stifled you for so long and choose the path to enlightenment. After all, your divorce attorney made a good point that spousal support is a small price to pay for your happiness. And then it happened. The last time you went to pick up your daughter she came to meet you holding the hand of some 25 year old punk in his bathrobe that could have been mistaken for one of those d-bags from Jersey Shore. You tried to conceal your rage as she hugged him goodbye and he looked over at you smugly, throwing you one of those obnoxious head nods that made you want to get out of the car and throw him to the ground by the abnormally large silver chain hanging around his neck. As you peeled out of the driveway, your mind started racing. How dare your cougar of an ex have some boy toy living in YOUR house with YOUR kids eating the food YOU paid for! Your priorities suddenly shift from achieving inner peace to doing whatever necessary to immediately stop your monthly alimony payments. Surely such an action had to be well within the law in Florida, right?!
Alimony Laws in Florida
Well…maybe. A court may reduce or terminate spousal support payments upon a written finding that, since the time the dissolution was granted and an award of alimony was ordered, a de facto marriage has arisen between the payee and a person of the opposite sex. In determining whether an alleged supportive relationship should result in the reduction or termination of alimony, the court must consider the nature and extent of the relationship, including factors such as the period of time that the payee has resided with the other person in a permanent place of abode and the extent to which the payee and the other person have pooled their assets or income or otherwise exhibited financial interdependence.
Proving a supportive relationship as a means of reducing or terminating payments is more difficult than it may seem. A spousal support obligation may not be reduced or terminated on the basis that the payee had entered a relationship where no economic support was given to him or her by the person with whom they were cohabitating. Further, the payee’s contributions to her cohabit cannot provide a basis for finding a supportive relationship. It is also important to note that even if it is shown that a supportive relationship exists, if it predates the divorce and the support obligation, a reduction or termination of alimony payments is not authorized.