RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
01/10/2014
RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
01/10/2014
“Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results.”
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Cohabitation, Supportive Relationships & Alimony

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Family in need of attorney

The Gainesville Alimony Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. represent clients in a full range of support matters, including those occurring during the divorce process, as well as those arising subsequent to the finalization of divorce, such as proceedings to modify or terminate spousal support. Given the reliance on support for one party, and the financial obligation on the other, it is important to consider grounds for modification or termination of alimony when an alimony obligation is created, and the potential impact of economic loss or gain that can occur as a result. Here, we discuss the effect that cohabitation can have on an award for spousal support.

Traditionally, spousal support could be terminated upon the recipient’s remarriage or the death of either party, and modified based upon changed circumstances or financial ability of the parties. However, recent revisions to Florida’s alimony laws, allows for termination or modification where there is evidence that the person receiving support is in a ‘supportive relationship.’ In order for a payer to alter or eliminate support based upon this theory, it must first be established that the alleged ‘supportive relationship’ involves (1) the recipient’s cohabitation; with (2) a person who is’ not related by consanguinity or affinity.’

Upon establishing cohabitation with an unrelated person, it is then necessary to evaluate the ‘extent and nature of the relationship in question.’ Unlike other modification and termination proceedings based upon changed circumstances, Florida Statute §61.14(1)(b)(2) clearly outlines the factors used in determining the existence of a supportive relationship that warrants an alteration to a prior order for support payments, as follows:

  • The extent to which the obligee and the other person have held themselves out as a married couple by engaging in conduct such as using the same last name, using a common mailing address, referring to each other in terms such as “my husband” or “my wife,” or otherwise conducting themselves in a manner that evidences a permanent supportive relationship.
  • The period of time that the obligee has resided with the other person in a permanent place of abode.
  • The extent to which the obligee and the other person have pooled their assets or income or otherwise exhibited financial interdependence.
  • The extent to which the obligee or the other person has supported the other, in whole or in part.
  • The extent to which the obligee or the other person has performed valuable services for the other.
  • The extent to which the obligee or the other person has performed valuable services for the other’s company or employer.
  • Whether the obligee and the other person have worked together to create or enhance anything of value.
  • Whether the obligee and the other person have jointly contributed to the purchase of any real or personal property.
  • Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an express agreement regarding property sharing or support.
  • Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an implied agreement regarding property sharing or support.
  • Whether the obligee and the other person have provided support to the children of one another, regardless of any legal duty to do so.

In considering the foregoing, it is important to note that the statute also explicitly states that evaluating termination and modification of support based on a supportive relationship is not limited solely to the factors listed above. Like other family law proceedings, the court can take into consideration any other relevant factor in determining whether the relationship in question is a supportive one. Whether you are the party requesting to change or terminate support, or defending such request, it is important to keep in mind the discretion permitted to judges in ruling upon support matters, as well as the benefit of having an attorney to advocate on your behalf.

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With decades of experience representing clients in proceedings involving alimony and spousal support, the Law Office of Alba & Yochim, P.A. offers the unique combination of professionalism, proficiency, compassion, and attention to detail that you need. More importantly, our Gainesville Alimony Attorneys have obtained successful outcomes in these cases. Our client focused results driven attorneys can provide you the benefit of this legal insight and the ability to effectively analyze the court’s evaluation process, from the standpoints of opposing parties. Protecting your financial interests, efficiently addressing your concerns, and ensuring that justice is carried out, are the cornerstones of our firm.

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