Downward Modification of Alimony: What is a “Supportive Relationship?”

Section 61.14, Florida Statutes, contains a provision that allows a court to modify or terminate an order for alimony if the obligee (the person receiving alimony) is in a “supportive relationship.” So what is a supportive relationship?

Downward Modification of Alimony

What is a "supportive relationship?"

Fortunately, the statute provides guidelines to identify such a relationship.  Considerations include the following:

  • Whether and the extent to which the obligee and other person have acted as husband and wife, such as by referring to one another as spouses;
  • Whether the obligee and other person have used the same last name;

  • Whether the obligee and other person have consistently resided with one another and used the same mailing address;
  • Whether and the extent to which the obligee and other person have pooled their financial resources, such as by utilizing a common checking or savings account; and
  • Whether the obligee and other person have made any large purchases, such as real estate, together.

It is up to the obligor (the person paying alimony) to prove that a supportive relationship exists between the obligee and another person.

If you are looking to modify or terminate an alimony award and know or suspect that your former spouse is in a supportive relationship, you should contact a family law attorney to discuss your options.


About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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2 Responses to Downward Modification of Alimony: What is a “Supportive Relationship?”

  1. Scott Perry says:

    Can you do the downward modification paper work for my father in-law for Manatee county? He is now needing to change his alimony due to loss of income.

  2. I would be happy to speak with your father-in-law regarding modification of his Manatee County alimony order. Please have him contact my office at (813) 443-0615.

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