Question: My wife of 20 years said she wants a divorce because she has a boyfriend and loves him. We have two children together, ages 16 and 17. I’ve been the sole provider for my family up until last year when my wife got a job at a local coffee shop.
If she is now working, and her boyfriend has a decent, steady job will I have to pay spousal support? I figure I’ll have to pay child support, but I don’t think I should have to pay alimony to a dual-income couple.
What happens to spousal support when a spouse or ex lives with another person is a common question. The answer depends on the facts of your case as they apply to the laws in Florida – there are plenty of facts we cannot discuss with the limited information you have provided in the short space in this question-answer format, but as you consider your case look for facts about income, employability, health, debt, and the degree your spouse/ex depends on income from the other person (i.e., are they financially independent or dependent?), prenuptial or separation agreements, etc.
In general and in most states, she will not be entitled to support unless she needs it, considering your respective incomes, expenses, earning capacities and shares of your marital debt. has resided out of your marital home. Also, in Michigan, as in most states, the court may reduce spousal support (or even terminate it) if the support payee is remarried or in a cohabitating relationship. A cohabitating relationship is one marked with the signs of serious commitment akin to marriage – i.e., joint purchases, joint savings, joint debts, a financial dependence on each other, etc. That your spouse lives with a boyfriend, is working and has a decent, steady job (I assume that means her income is decent and steady, too), are facts in your favor to argue against support, but they are just a few of the facts the court presiding over your case will consider.
Keep in mind that I am a Michigan attorney and cannot give you detailed advice about the laws in Florida. You should not rely on this answer as establishing an attorney-client relationship, and you should contact an attorney in your area immediately if you need additional information or legal representation, as most parties in child support cases do. Cordell & Cordell, P.C. has attorneys located in Florida.
Jennifer M. Paine is an Associate Attorney in the Detroit, Michigan office of Cordell & Cordell P.C. She is licensed to practice in Michigan, and has been admitted pro hac vice in Illinois, Ohio, and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Ms. Paine received her BA in English and Mathematics from Albion College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from MSU College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude.