Sure, you may recognize the familiar rule that alimony terminates upon death or remarriage.  However, alimony can also be terminated or modified when a former spouse begins cohabitating with another individual.  However, cohabitiation is only grounds for a modification of alimony when that cohabitation is “financially beneficial” — meaning that the boyfriend or girlfriend of the former spouse is not only living with the former spouse, but helps to pay the household bills, etc., thereby reducing the cohabititing spouse’s “need” for alimony.

A recent appellate court case reaffirmed the financially beneficial cohabitation rule. See Murphy v. Murphy, 3D11-1604 (Fla. 3rd DCA October 3, 2012), where the Court found the former wife was in a supportive relationship, but received no economic support from her boyfriend, and therefore denied the Former Husband’s request to modify alimony.

In fact, the fact that a former spouse is receiving enough alimony to support a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend could be grounds to go ahead and reduce the alimony based on a showing of less need on the part of the cohabitating spouse!

This case courtesy of Michael Mattson, mediator,

CategoryFamily Law

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