Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can I Reduce my Alimony Payment?

With these tough economic times, many people’s income is reduced, or they have no job at all. If you were ordered to pay alimony in your divorce order, continuing to make the spousal support payment can make it impossible to meet your own living expenses. This is especially true if the alimony is being deducted from your pay before you get your check.

Under Florida law, most orders of alimony are modifiable where there is a significant change in circumstances. Most times, the change in circumstance is the paying ex-spouse’s reduced income. However, it may be that the receiving ex-spouse is earning more and no longer needs the alimony. It may also be that the receiving spouse is now living with someone and sharing expenses. Ultimately, it is up to the judge’s discretion whether circumstances have changed enough to modify your alimony.

Many times, the receiving ex-spouse vigorously fights reducing the spousal support that was award in the divorce order. Perhaps rightly so, the ex-spouse feels that she “paid her dues” and is entitled to the alimony. Whether true or not, ex-spouses receiving alimony do not often voluntarily agree to reduce or terminate the support.

What they often overlook is that, if you were still married, she would of course suffer the reduction of your earnings. However, since you are now divorced, I often see the attitude that the paying spouse is more like an insurance policy to guarantee her income.

In order to modify alimony in Florida, you must file a supplemental petition to modify. You don’t want to wait, because typically you are only entitled to modify back to the date that you file your petition. If you wait a year after your income is reduced to file, most times, the Court is powerless to relieve you from the increased alimony obligation for that year.

 If you have questions regarding a family law matter,  please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Keep her away from my kids!

I am often presented with issues from my clients that are in the midst of a divorce for which there are no easy answers. The most common and most frustrating non-legal issue is dealing with the husband or wife introducing the children to the new girlfriend or boyfriend. Unfortunately, unless the new person is a violent criminal or sex offender, there is little that can legally be done to stop the introduction. This can be extremely difficult for parents to accept.  Although the judge typically will not enter an order prohibiting the contact absent extraordinary circumstances, it can influence the judge’s ultimate decision if one of the parents is not using good common sense. Aside from the stress that it can cause the other parent, the judges understand that it is not good for the children to have new people in their lives too early, or worse yet, to have several new people in and out of their lives in the span of a short time.

If you are faced with this situation, try to remember to focus on whether the new boyfriend or girlfriend interacts with your children in a positive way or whether it is detrimental. Do not let your anger guide those feelings. What you must understand is that there is no bond stronger that that between a parent and child, and no new person will threaten that bond.

If you have questions regarding your family law matter, please contact The Law Offices of Wade P. Luther, P.A. at (407) 835-9900 or visit: