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: