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Appeals Court Hears Case Considering Husband’s Petition To End Durational Alimony


Alimony is awarded in many Florida divorce cases. Generally, the spouse receiving alimony must show a genuine need for spousal support and the party paying alimony must have the ability to make the payments. The size and duration of the alimony payments are generally based on the length of the marriage. In one case, Spector v. Spector, the husband was paying durational alimony to his wife. The wife later entered into what the husband alleged was a “supportive relationship” with another man. On that basis, the husband was able to petition the court to end his alimony payments to his wife. In this article, the Orlando divorce lawyers at Greater Orlando Family Law will discuss the case and why the court made the decision to end alimony payments to the wife.

Background of the case 

The parties married in 1995. In May 2013, they entered into a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA) which was incorporated into the final judgment of dissolution of marriage. The MSA required the former husband to pay the former wife specified amounts of durational alimony each month until June 1, 2023. However, one provision of the MSA held that the former husband’s obligation to pay alimony would terminate if the wife entered into a “supportive relationship” or cohabitated with another individual.

In April 2021, the former husband filed a “Verified Supplemental Petition for Termination of Alimony or, in the Alternative, Downward Modification of Alimony and for Other Relief.” The former husband alleged that the former wife was in a “supportive relationship” and cohabitated with another man. Citing Florida Statutes § 61.14, the former husband moved for the termination of alimony payments and, failing that, a reduction of alimony payments.

The trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing concerning the former husband’s petition to eliminate alimony. Ultimately, it found that the former wife was in a supportive relationship with her new boyfriend because the two were living together. In so doing, the court addressed the circumstances the court would consider in determining whether or not the relationship the former wife had with her new boyfriend was indeed “supportive.” In this case, the court found that because the wife was cohabitating with her new partner, the relationship was indeed “supportive” and the former husband’s obligation to pay alimony should be terminated. Further, the court ordered the former wife to repay alimony that had been paid by the former husband back to the date the husband filed the supplemental petition.

The former wife filed an appeal. The appeals court reviewed the trial court’s decision based on the factors found in Florida Statutes § 61.14. Ultimately, the appeals court agreed with the trial court’s interpretation of the statute and the finding that a supportive relationship did indeed exist.

Talk to an Orlando Divorce Attorney Today 

Greater Orlando Family Law represents the interests of Orlando residents in divorce proceedings. If you are considering divorce, call our Orlando family attorneys today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your goals right away.

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