How To Modify Alimony Payments in a Florida Divorce
As part of many Florida divorce settlements, the higher earning spouse may be required to send payments to the lesser earning spouse in the form of alimony. Otherwise known as spousal support, alimony payments are intended to help support the lesser earning spouse during and after a divorce settlement is finalized transition into becoming financially independent and self-sustaining. However, there may be times where one spouse feels that a change in one or both of the couple’s lives necessitates a modification in alimony payments, either to pay less or more than is currently ordered by the court. At the Orlando office of Steve W. Marsee, we help clients navigate the complex requirements of proving or defending against the need for a modification in alimony payments. Call or contact the office today to learn more.
Can You Modify Alimony?
The laws in Florida do allow one spouse to request a modification in alimony payments, both in duration and in amount, so long as alimony was awarded in the original divorce decree. If spousal support was not awarded in the final settlement, a spouse cannot come back to the court at a later date and request for alimony from their former spouse. Under the law, Florida alimony payments may be modified or terminated when there has been an unexpected, involuntary, and substantial change in circumstances that affects either a spouse’s ability to pay or a spouse’s need for alimony payments.
What is a Substantial Change in Circumstances?
In order to prove that there was a substantial change in a spouse’s life, the former spouse requesting the modification must show that the circumstances alleged were unanticipated at the time that the original award was decided. In addition, the change in circumstances must be permanent, involuntary and material for the former spouse. Some examples of a substantial change in circumstances that would merit a modification in alimony payments includes health and medical issues, long term unemployment, large gifts or inheritance, significant raise and/or title change at work, lottery winnings, retirement, availability of medical insurance, the spouse receiving alimony gets remarried, or an involuntary long-term decreased ability to pay.
However, there are also some circumstances that will not justify a modification because the court does not recognize them as a substantial change. These situations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Expenses of a second marriage
- Cost of living increase or other moderate improvement in circumstances
- Award of lump sum or bridge the gap alimony
- Voluntarily quitting your job
- Getting purposely fired from your job, and more.
To learn more about what qualifies as a substantial change in circumstances, talk to an experienced divorce attorney in Florida today.
Call or Contact Steve W. Marsee
If you need a knowledgeable Orlando divorce modification attorney to help you with a modification in spousal support request, call the office or contact Steve W. Marsee today to schedule a free consultation of your case.