Life changes are bound to happen and when they do, you want to make sure that you are still satisfying the requirements of your alimony payments while being able to maintain your own financial status. If you have recently declared bankruptcy; become unemployed; have had a medical crisis; or have had to relocate; you can petition the court to modify your alimony payments.
Florida Statutes Section 61.14 (1) (a) states that when the parties enter into an agreement for payments for, or instead of, support, maintenance, or alimony, whether in connection with a proceeding for dissolution or separate maintenance or with any voluntary property settlement, or when a party is required by court order to make any payments, and the circumstances or the financial ability of either party changes either party may apply to the circuit court of the circuit in which the parties, or either of them, resided at the date of the execution of the agreement or reside at the date of the application, or in which the agreement was executed or in which the order was rendered, for an order decreasing or increasing the amount of support, maintenance, or alimony, and the court has jurisdiction to make orders as equity requires, with due regard to the changed circumstances or the financial ability of the parties, decreasing, increasing, or confirming the amount of separate support, maintenance, or alimony provided for in the agreement or order. The court may modify an order of support, maintenance, or alimony by increasing or decreasing the support, maintenance, or alimony retroactively to the date of the filing of the action or supplemental action for modification as equity requires, giving due regard to the changed circumstances or the financial ability of the parties or the child.
Moreover, if your ex-spouse has become a part of a supportive relationship with another person, you may also have grounds to have the alimony completely terminated. In particular, Florida Statutes Section 61.14 (2) states that in determining whether an existing award of alimony should be reduced or terminated because of an alleged supportive relationship between an obligee and a person who is not related by consanguinity or affinity and with whom the obligee resides, the court shall elicit the nature and extent of the relationship in question. The court shall give consideration, without limitation, to circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following, in determining the relationship of an obligee to another person:
- The extent to which the obligee and the other person have held themselves out as a married couple by engaging in conduct such as using the same last name, using a common mailing address, referring to each other in terms such as “my husband” or “my wife,” or otherwise conducting themselves in a manner that evidences a permanent supportive relationship.
- The period of time that the obligee has resided with the other person in a permanent place of abode.
- The extent to which the obligee and the other person have pooled their assets or income or otherwise exhibited financial interdependence.
- The extent to which the obligee or the other person has supported the other, in whole or in part.
- The extent to which the obligee or the other person has performed valuable services for the other.
- The extent to which the obligee or the other person has performed valuable services for the other's company or employer.
- Whether the obligee and the other person have worked together to create or enhance anything of value.
- Whether the obligee and the other person have jointly contributed to the purchase of any real or personal property.
- Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an express agreement regarding property sharing or support.
- Evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an implied agreement regarding property sharing or support.
- Whether the obligee and the other person have provided support to the children of one another, regardless of any legal duty to do so.
It is essential that you contact a qualified attorney if you (or your ex spouse) have had a significant life change that could affect your ability to satisfy the requirements of your alimony payments. Failure to do so could get you into serious legal and financial trouble.
At Segarra & Associates, P.A., we can assist you in the modification of your alimony. We will review your case and determine whether your situation affects your ability to make alimony payments. Our goal is for your alimony payments to be fair based on your current economic circumstances.
Contact us for a consultation regarding the modification of your alimony. We are committed to giving your case our full attention and are available now to speak with you. Call us today. (305) 742-5042.