Termination of Alimony
Alimony provides economic assistance after a Florida divorce. The award and amount of alimony depends on the actual need of the receiving spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay. Thereafter, the circumstances of one or both of the parties may change so that alimony is no longer needed or appropriate. Florida law does allow for the termination of alimony in certain situations. If you have questions regarding the termination or modification of your spousal support obligation, a West Palm Beach alimony lawyer can assist you. At the Law Office of Jessica Mishali, P.A., we can provide legal guidance and representation to people who are opposing or seeking termination of alimony.Termination of Alimony in a Florida Divorce
In a Florida divorce, the court may grant alimony if it finds that one party has a need for financial support and the other party has the means to pay it. The parties may also agree to alimony in their divorce settlement agreement. Alimony may be bridge-the-gap, durational, rehabilitative, permanent, or a combination of these types of alimony and may be paid periodically or by lump sum. As explained below, alimony may be terminated by agreement between the parties, upon death or remarriage, a substantial change in circumstances, or the existence of a supportive relationship.By Agreement or Set Period
Depending on the terms of the divorce settlement, alimony payments can terminate at the end of an agreed upon time by the parties. In addition, some kinds of alimony will terminate by design on a specific date. For example, bridge-the-gap alimony assists a person with short-term needs and ends within two years. Similarly, durational alimony may be awarded for a set period of time, not to exceed the length of the marriage, if there is no ongoing need for permanent financial support. Although permanent alimony is meant to provide for the economic needs of a party for life, the parties may mutually decide at a later time to end the payments by agreement.Death or Remarriage
In Florida, bridge-the-gap, durational, rehabilitative, and permanent alimony terminate automatically upon the death of either the receiving party or the payor. The receiving party does not have any legal right against the payor’s estate for any remaining alimony payments, nor does the receiving party’s estate have any claim against the payor. An automatic termination of alimony also occurs when the receiving party remarries. Alimony is not necessarily terminated, however, when the paying party remarries.Existence of a Supportive Relationship
In some instances, alimony can be terminated by the court if the party receiving alimony, following the divorce, lives with another person with whom they have a supportive relationship. A supportive relationship does not include cohabitation between relatives by blood or marriage. In determining whether a supportive relationship exists, the court will consider multiple factors, such as the length of the relationship, the extent to which the parties have pooled their resources and financially supported each other or their children, and whether they have purchased property together, among other circumstances. In essence, the court is seeking to determine whether the cohabitating parties are in a relationship that provides the same economic support as a marriage. In such situations, the court may terminate an award of alimony.Retain a Lawyer in West Palm Beach
If you are pursuing or fighting against the termination of alimony, an attorney can provide guidance. At the Law Offices of Jessica Mishali, P.A., our lawyers help people with divorce and family law matters throughout Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin Counties, particularly West Palm Beach, Pembroke Pines, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Royal Palm Beach, Hobe Sound, Pompano Beach, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Indiantown, Delray Beach, Palm City, Plantation, Stuart, Coral Springs, Wellington, and Jensen Beach. Request a consultation about spousal or child support by calling our office at (561) 833-2772 or submitting our online form.