Despite her award of alimony and spousal support in her divorce, Utah Ex-Wife has trouble establishing a residence after her divorce.
She spends a significant part of her time at her parents’ home.
Ex-Wife’s parents have six foster children living under their roof, all boys.
Ex-Wife allegedly engages in an ongoing sexual relationship with one of her parents’ foster children.
Ex-Husband files to terminate his alimony and spousal support obligation on the grounds that Ex-Wife is cohabitating with the foster child.
At trial, the family court finds that Ex-Wife sleeps at her parents’ home “at least 80 percent of her nights”, and that theirs is her primary residence. Based in part on input from Ex-Wife’s children.
Therefore, the divorce court rules that Ex-Wife is indeed cohabitating with the foster child, and holds that Ex-Wife’s spousal support should terminate.
Ex-Wife appeals. An intermediate level appellate court rules that “cohabitation” only occurs in the context of a conjugal relationship in the nature of a marriage, and reinstates Ex-Wife’s alimony.
And now Ex-Husband appeals to the state’s highest court. Which is expected to rule in the near future.
Several states have statutory provisions permitting termination of alimony and spousal support upon “cohabitation” with another person who is not a relative. But the precise definition of cohabitation is, probably intentionally, rarely nailed down in the statutory scheme.
Florida’s statute is couched in terms of a “supportive relationship” which is akin to a committed long-term relationship.
And yet a local Florida intermediate level appellate court found such a relationship in the former wife’s so-called “cohabitation” with a cellmate in jail. See my previous post, Alimony Terminates Because Ex-Wife is Deemed to Cohabitate with Cellmate Under Florida Settlement Agreement.