When Can You Modify Alimony Payments in Florida?
In many cases of Florida divorce, the higher earning spouse may pay alimony to the lesser earning spouse during and after the proceedings. Once the divorce agreement is finalized, the types and amounts of alimony are set; however, in certain situations the court may allow for a modification of the spousal support amounts. If you would like to learn more about the possibility of modifying your alimony, call or contact a Boca Raton family attorney at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg today for a free consultation.
The Purpose of Alimony Payments
The purpose of alimony payments in a divorce is to help the less wealthy spouse transition into becoming financially independent during and after a divorce. The court recognizes that every family situation is different and may order different types, amounts, and durations of spousal support in each case. Alimony is meant to help maintain the needs for a former spouse, but in the months and years after a divorce the financial circumstances may change for one or both former spouses. If the change is significant enough, it may warrant a modification in spousal support payments.
Substantial Change in Circumstances
In order to qualify for a modification in alimony, a former spouse must be able to prove that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred. This change in circumstances must be material, permanent, and involuntary as well as unanticipated at the time that the original order was put in place by the court. Some of the most common examples of a substantial change in circumstances includes medical or health problems, long-term unemployment, forced retirement, large inheritance or lottery winnings, significant raise or job promotion, the recipient spouse entering into a supportive relationship, the recipient spouse’s remarriage, or the death of either spouse.
What Circumstances Do Not Qualify
It is important to note that not all situations qualify as a substantial change in circumstances for the purposes of modifying alimony payments in Florida. If the spouse paying alimony gets remarried, the costs of the second marriage do not qualify as a substantial change to modify payments of spousal support. In addition, if the spouse paying alimony voluntarily quits their job or gets purposefully fired to claim a substantial change in income also does not qualify for a modification in alimony payments. Any moderate changes in the cost of living or income do not qualify for either former spouse to request a modification in alimony payments, nor does the additional order of alimony, such as rehabilitative alimony for a former spouse. Finally, if a party’s alimony obligation is non-modifiable, that would likely prohibit the payor from modifying their obligation.
Call or Contact Our Office Today
If you have had a substantial change in your life, you may qualify for a modification in your spousal support order. To speak with an experienced Florida family law attorney about your alimony and whether a modification is appropriate in your case, call or contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg in Boca Raton today to schedule a free consultation now.