Modifying Alimony in Florida
If you and your spouse are preparing to divorce and one of you makes significantly more money, there’s a good chance that one of you will be ordered to pay alimony. Alimony — monthly payments one divorced spouse makes to the other — is a commonly used tool in the divorce system. If you are ordered to pay alimony in your divorce, you will have to pay a specified amount each month until one of several potential goals is met: your former spouse remarries, your children are old enough to take care of themselves at home, you reach a payment end-date set by a judge, one spouse dies or another significant live-altering event occurs.
There are several types of alimony, each one carrying a different payment duration or delivery method. Permanent periodic alimony is paid monthly until either the recipient or payer dies; other types of alimony include lump-sum, rehabilitative, durational and bridge-the-gap. Although alimony is sometimes determined by an agreement between divorcing parties, the court may also play a role. If this is the case, the court considers factors like the ability to pay, need of the receiving party, standard of living during the marriage and the ages and health of both parties.
No matter what type of alimony is chosen, Florida statutes allow alimony terms to be modified, if necessary, at any time. Either party can apply for an alimony modification unless that right has been specifically waived as part of the original agreement. When evaluating a request for alimony modification, courts require evidence of a change in circumstances that was not anticipated at the time of the agreement. Some common examples of these types of changes include a significant salary reduction, loss of employment and remarriage.
Alimony agreements can be difficult to navigate, and are best handled with the help of an experienced attorney. If you are preparing to establish or modify an alimony agreement, contact a Fort Lauderdale family lawyer right away.