Many people wonder how they can change their alimony in Florida. Whether you pay alimony or receive it, the answer to the question, “how can alimony be changed?” is a complicated one. For example, some forms of alimony are of limited duration in Florida, where other forms of alimony are designed specifically to assist a person in gaining new skills. When alimony is for two years and two years only, extending the alimony beyond two years may not be possible. On the other hand, where courts order alimony providing someone the time they need to gain the skills necessary for employment, an extension with good cause shown may be appropriate.
As an alimony attorney, Eric C. Cheshire can help.
Grounds for Modification of Alimony
Typically, courts will only change or modify an alimony order where there is a substantial change in circumstances of either the payor or the payee. Changes might include losing a job, getting a job, retirement, death, or extended illness. In each case, the question before the court is whether there is a substantial change that merits revisiting the alimony order.
Grounds for Initiating Alimony
In Florida, courts must order alimony in the original divorce decree before one can make a motion to modify. In other words, if the court did not originally order alimony, one cannot bring a motion to obtain alimony after the marriage has ended.
How Remarriage Can Impact Alimony
Remarriage of the payor does not merit revisiting alimony. For example, imagine the new marriage increases the wealth of the payor. That is not grounds for increasing alimony to a prior spouse. However, the reverse is not true. When someone who is receiving alimony remarries, this is grounds for revisiting alimony obligations. Further, in recent years, the state of Florida has added cohabitation as a grounds for revisiting alimony obligations. The courts consider whether the person cohabiting now has additional means of support via their co-habitor.
Want to Change Alimony Requirements?
If you are paying alimony and want to modify the amount or length of the alimony payments, you may have a case. If you are receiving alimony payments and want to extend the length of alimony or modify the amount of alimony, you may have a case. How can both of these be true? The payment and receipt of alimony are very fact specific. For example, imagine a person making $30,000 a year suddenly loses $15,000 of their income. This could amount to a “substantial change” in that the person has lost half of their income. Imagine a person making $300,000 per year loses $15,000 of their income. This may not be considered a “substantial change” as this only reflects 5 % of their income.
Because the answer to the question, “Can I change my alimony payments” is so fact-specific, only a consultation with an experienced alimony attorney can adequately answer the question. Contact the firm of Eric C. Cheshire, P.A. With over 25 years of experience, Eric Cheshire can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case to determine whether an alimony change is reasonable under the circumstances. Call us today at (561) 655-8844.