When is Alimony Terminated in a Florida Divorce?
In many cases of divorce where the couple has been married for a number of years or where one spouse makes a significantly higher income than the other, the family court will order or the couple will agree to the payment of alimony from one spouse to the other during and after the divorce. However, alimony in most cases is not meant to be a permanent situation for either spouse after a divorce, and there are certain situations that trigger the termination of alimony payments between former couples. To learn more about alimony payments in a Florida divorce, reach out to a Tampa spousal support attorney today.
Termination By Agreement
One way to terminate alimony payments is by agreement. Depending on the type or types of alimony agreed upon in the divorce settlement, spousal support payments can terminate at the end of an agreed upon time. For example, temporary alimony typically terminates once a divorce is finalized, and bridge the gap alimony can only be paid by one spouse to the other for a set number of years. Alimony payments can also terminate by agreement based on a triggering event, such as the paying spouse reaching retirement or the receiving spouse getting a job that pays a certain level of income. An experienced divorce attorney can help you craft a divorce agreement that meets your needs for alimony payments in a Florida divorce.
Termination by Death or Remarriage
Under Florida law, the death of one former spouse automatically terminates payment of alimony. Spousal support is a contract between two people, so if one dies the contract is automatically void. The receiving spouse cannot go after the paying spouse’s estate for spousal support, nor does the paying spouse owe the estate of the deceased receiving spouse. Another automatic termination of alimony payments in Florida occurs if the spouse receiving alimony payments gets remarried. The assumption is that the new spouse will be able to provide the financial support that the alimony payments provided, therefore the former spouse no longer needs to pay.
Termination by Cohabitation
One final event that can trigger the termination of alimony payments is cohabitation. If the supported spouse begins cohabitating with another person, which is defined as any living arrangement in which the supported spouse is living with, and receiving financial assistance from, another person that is not related by blood or marriage. This is because cohabitation can be a substitute for marriage, and the Florida courts do not want former spouses skirting the alimony termination rule of remarriage by living with a romantic partner but never getting formally married. When determining whether cohabitation exists, the courts consider whether the living partners claim to be married, use the same mailing address, the length of time the supported spouse has lived with this person, financial assistance provided, whether the cohabitating couple have purchased property together, and more.
Call Our Office
To learn more about what may trigger the termination of alimony payments in a Florida divorce, call or contact the office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa today.