How Does Remarriage Affect Alimony in Florida?
In Florida, courts may award five types of alimony, also known as spousal support. This is money one spouse pays to another as part of a divorce decree, usually when one spouse makes significantly less money or has fewer assets than the other.
These include the following:
Temporary alimony: This is awarded when one of the parties in a divorce has an immediate need for financial support. It ends once the divorce has been finalized.
Bridge-the-gap alimony: This is short-term support meant to provide the recipient with funds for living expenses as he or she works to become self-sufficient. It usually expires within two years of the divorce.
Rehabilitative alimony: Through this alimony, a court aims to provide the support the recipient needs to seek education or training that will allow the person to eventually become self-sufficient.
Durational alimony: This alimony lasts only for the amount of time a couple was married. If two people were married for eight years, durational alimony would be limited to eight years, as well.
Permanent alimony: Although rare, there are cases in which a court may order spousal support that does not have an expiration date attached to it.
In nearly all cases, alimony will stop if the recipient gets remarried. The paying spouse can stop making payments immediately upon the date of marriage and does not have to get an additional court order to stop those payments.
However, if the spousal support arrangement featured a lump-sum alimony payment or property transfer, the remarriage of the recipient spouse does not change this obligation. The paying spouse must provide this support no matter what.
Only a legal remarriage terminates a paying spouse’s alimony obligations automatically. Just because a couple moves in together and has a ceremony among friends and family involving an exchange of vows does not mean they are legally married. Rather, the couple must file the proper paperwork in court for the marriage to be legally binding.
Florida courts have the power to either terminate or modify alimony arrangements if the supported spouse starts living with a new partner, but will only do so after considering a variety of factors. These include whether the couple claims to be married (or life partners), the length of cohabitation, how much financial assistance the cohabitant provides the supported spouse and whether the cohabitant and supported spouse have bought any property together.
For further information on alimony laws in Florida and how remarriage affects an alimony arrangement, consult an experienced family law attorney at Oberliesen & Henderson. Call our Shalimar office today at(850) 863-0494 or contact us online to get started.