Florida’s alimony system is highly flexible in its variability of awards and durations. If a judge determines that alimony is warranted in a given case (which is not automatic), the court strives to find the most appropriate type of alimony, duration, and award amount to balance the needs of the recipient spouse with the means of the paying spouse.
But because human lives and circumstances are always in flux, Florida law allows alimony awards to be modified even after divorce if there is a sufficient reason to do so. We’ll discuss some possible reasons for alimony modification in today’s post.
When Alimony Can be Modified
Alimony awards can be reexamined and modified with a court petition, but a spouse can only file a petition if he or she has experienced a “substantial change in circumstances.” The change must be material (having an impact on finances). Typically, it must also be involuntary and unanticipated at the time the original alimony order was made.
Examples that might qualify for modification include:
- Remarriage of the recipient spouse (an argument for reducing or ending alimony)
- One spouse experiencing expensive health issues
- One spouse receiving a significant inheritance or winning the lottery
- One spouse getting a major pay raise at work
- Unexpected job loss and a lengthy period of unemployment
- The retirement of the paying spouse
These are just some of the many reasons that may be grounds for filing a petition to modify alimony. Whether you are seeking to increase/decrease/terminate alimony or seeking to prevent your ex-spouse from making changes, it is important to get help from an experienced family law attorney. For more information about how our firm can help you, please visit our modifications page.