Does Florida Recognize Palimony?
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
Palimony is support that is given to a person after ending a long-term cohabitation relationship. Similar to alimony, palimony may help provide the same standard of living that was met when the couple was together. However, the state of Florida does not recognize palimony, common-law marriage, or domestic partnerships (which exist when couples cohabitate, share many aspects of life, and intend to get married).
Under Florida law, in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court may grant alimony to either party, which alimony may be bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent in nature or any combination of these forms of alimony. In any award of alimony, the court may order periodic payments or payments in lump sum or both. The court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded.
In determining whether to award alimony or maintenance, the court shall first make a specific factual determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony or maintenance and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance. If the court finds that a party has a need for alimony or maintenance and that the other party has the ability to pay alimony or maintenance, then in determining the proper type and amount of alimony or maintenance under subsections (5)-(8) in Florida statute 61.08, the court shall consider all relevant factors
So what can you do if you reside in Florida and are not married, but want to keep yourself safe in the case of separation? There are many options available in the form of agreements and contracts. These same options are available for all couples, including same sex couples who are not yet married or do not intend to marry.
A cohabitation or non-marital agreement can specify what property is owned by the couple, and how that property would be divided in the case of a separation. This can include land, housing, bank accounts, and anything that has a significant value that the couple purchased together.