Florida allows alimony to be reduced or terminated if the spouse receiving alimony lives in a “Support Relationship” with their boyfriend or girlfriend.*
What is a Supportive Relationship? The statue providing the definition of a Supportive Relationship lists a number of red flags indicators. The pooling of income and assets is often perceived as one of the most important indicators. So an open question has been whether a Supportive Relationship can be found when the former spouse and their boyfriend or girlfriend do not comingle their bank accounts.
In a recent decision Florida’s 5th DCA answered this question with a “yes.” ** A Supportive Relationship can be found by a court even if their has been no comingling of bank accounts.
What was the key determination from the 5th DCA’s perspective? The Court found that was in fact a Supportive Relationship when “all things considered” the “parties were living in the substantial equivalent of a marriage.”
From a practical standpoint I this decision will make it easier for the spouse paying alimony to claim the existence of Supportive Relationship because it encourage the Court to look at the relationship as a whole rather than simply tick off the factors listed as red flags in the statute.
* Section 61.14, Florida Statutes (2021).