Is cohabitating equivalent to being married?

I was divorced almost 2years ago. My ex has lived/ cohabitated with her boyfriend/significant

other for almost a year. Does this qualify as being married and hence can I petition the court to end alimony payments?

Asked on August 25, 2016 under Family Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is not automatically or necessarily equivalent to cohabitating, unfortunately, as unfair as that seems in many ways: the reason is, when people cohabitat, they are not legally obligated to each other the way marriage obligates them, so she is not guaranteed the boyfriend's support the same way she would be guaranteed a husband's (for example: he could just kick her out, if it's his home, or leave, if it's hers, and she could not stop him from doing that or get any alimony from him, even if he had been supporting her). Therefore, while you are allowed in this circumstances to petition the court and *might* get an end (or least reduction) to the payments, the case for doing so if far weaker than if she had remarried and you can't count on winning.

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