Florida law expects the parties to follow the terms of an alimony order. The paying party (known as the obligor) will have a specific amount they will pay to the receiving party (the obligee). The amount and duration will vary based on the circumstances.
Even after the order is made, there can be disagreements. Many times, these disputes involve payments being late or not made in full. Other obstacles can arise and lead to disputes. If the obligee is in another relationship and resides with the new person, this could be justification for the court to lower the award or terminate it entirely.
How cohabitation can impact alimony
The law states that if the obligee is living with another person in a supportive relationship, the alimony award could come under scrutiny. The obligor who would like the award changed or ended is responsible for proving that there is a supportive relationship.
The court will want to know if the person with whom the obligee is living is related to them in any way other than as a spouse. The court will assess the relationship and determine if it is one in which the obligee is being supported by a person other than the obligor. It will consider how the couple presents itself. For example, if they claim to be or behave as if they are married, this is evidence of a supportive relationship. Perhaps they refer to each other as husband or wife, use the same mailing address or have the same last name. This might be enough proof.
In addition, the court will look at whether the receiving party and the person they are living with are pooling their resources with their finances intertwined. It will check how much support is provided if they are performing valuable services for each other, if they work together to create products of value, if they are combining to purchase items, if they have an agreement to share costs and support, and if they have provided support to the other’s children whether they are required to do so or not.
To challenge or defend an alimony order, having legal assistance can be necessary
The idea of alimony is to provide support to the other person until they can support themselves. There are variables as to its amount, duration and more. Still, if the obligee is residing with someone else and getting support, then the obligor can ask for the court to analyze the agreement and make an appropriate ruling based on the new landscape. For people in this situation, it is important to have legal assistance to lower or end the order or to keep it in effect.