Modification of Alimony
When a couple divorces, spousal support (or alimony) is not assigned by the court automatically. Spousal support is typically awarded when there is a substantial difference between the earning potential and current income of two spouses. Essentially, the court wants to ensure that upon the dissolution of their marriage, a husband and wife can maintain the standard of living they were accustomed to during the marriage. However, there are circumstances in which modification of alimony becomes necessary, such as would be the case if the paying spouse were to become ill or lose his/her job. At Adams & Luka, our alimony modification attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients understand the Florida laws, and reach the results you desire.
Whether you are the spouse who is currently paying alimony, or the receiving spouse, the amount of support being paid cannot be changed or discontinued without the approval of your petition by the court. Ex-spouses often have a need for the amount of spousal support to be reduced because of a financial setback or unexpected needs (medical or developmental) that may arise for a child. Whatever the reason, it is vital to work with an experienced lawyer who is familiar with what the court will need in terms of evidence to determine whether a modification is possible in your particular situation.Common Reasons for Modification of Alimony in Florida
Other than a significant change in income or earning capacity, there are other common reasons for modifying spousal support. These include:
- Remarriage. When a spouse receiving alimony remarries, the other spouse will generally want a modification so that he/she can stop paying support.
- Cohabitation. Today, many couples live together and do not legally marry. If the spouse who receives alimony enters a relationship similar to marriage such as living together, the paying spouse may desire a modification of alimony.
- Retirement. When the spouse paying spousal support reaches the normal age of retirement, he/she will want to modify the alimony agreement.
- Receiving spouse experiences substantial increase in income. This may be in the form of an inheritance, lottery winnings, or employment if the receiving spouse was not working when the original judgment was made.
There are many cases in which both spouses agree to the modification, which typically results in a quick resolution of the issue; the court will generally adopt the modification when both parties agree. However, when spouses cannot come to an agreement on the issue, it is necessary for the person desiring modification of the agreement to file a supplemental petition for modification of alimony. This petition will then be served upon the spouse who is not in agreement to modification terms.
Additionally, it is important to note that the burden of proving a "substantial change in circumstances" lies with the party desiring to modify the original alimony order. There are situations in which both spouses have changes in circumstances which require a modification.
Moreover, there are several types of alimony; some types may be modified, while others may not. Types of spousal support which may be modified include rehabilitative, durational, and permanent. Lump sum and bridge-the-gap alimony cannot be modified. In most cases, both parties can tell if the type of alimony ordered in their situation may be modified by looking at their divorce agreement. In cases where spousal support cannot be modified, it will be clearly stated on the agreement.Contact Orlando Alimony Modification Attorneys Adams & Luka Today
Most people who have divorced are not familiar with modification of alimony, how it works, and what is necessary to ensure good results. It is important that you consult with a lawyer who can advise you of the options, your legal rights, and work to protect your interests. A critical mistake can result in devastating financial consequences. At Adams & Luka, our top priority is to help resolve your situation in an efficient, professional manner. We invite residents in Central Florida to contact us now at 407-872-0303 or 352-357-4084.