Terminating Florida alimony when your former spouse lives with someone but doesn't get married was authorized by the legislature in 2005. In a new case from the 4th District in West Palm Beach, David French, who is now a Circuit Judge in the 15th Judicial Circuit, got a favorable ruling in his quest to terminate alimony awarded to his former wife in 1988.
He's been at it awhile. In 1993 alimony was reduced from $4000 to $3400 per month based on his former wife living with another man. In 2005 he made a request to terminate or reduce alimony based on the new law (and his new job as a judge, even though he had not yet been elected). The former Mrs. French requested an increase in a counter-petition. At the trial, the court found there was a "supportive relationship" as required by Florida Statute 61.14 but denied all requests. Mr. French appealed and got a favorable ruling on January 21, 2009.
Some of the facts supporting a reduction or termination of alimony in this case include:
- The former wife and her man have been together in an intimate relationship since 1990 and lived the first 10 years in the former wife's home
- In 2000 her man built a place in North Carolina and they split their time between the homes until 2004 when she sold her house. In 2005 she bought another Florida place. They both use both homes for mail, the Florida place for driver's licenses, and share household responsibilities.
- They are on each other's bank accounts but haven't used each other's accounts or co-mingled money. She kept a detailed ledger of their finances.
The court said:
Because the court made the finding that a supportive relationship existed, it was required to reduce or terminate alimony. Of course, the case must now go back to the trial court. Bet Judge French is hoping that the former Mrs. did not invest with Madoff.
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