Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.
Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach And Wellington, Florida Offices 561-328-1095

Modification of Alimony Archives

Modification of Alimony in Wellington, Florida

In a modification of alimony case, a parties' retirement does not mandate the termination of alimony payments. Retirement just provides an opportunity to revisit alimony recipient's needs and alimony payor's ability to pay. In a case captioned Purin v. Purin the Florida Court of Appeal had a case before it involving a thirty-year marriage. A thirty-year marriage is considered to be a long term marriage. The trial court awarded durational alimony instead of permanent alimony. The Court of appeal reversed this award. The trial court refused the wife's request for permanent alimony and awarded her durational alimony based on the fact that the husband was going to retire at age sixty-five. The Court of Appeal stated that the starting point in every alimony determination is need and ability to pay. In this case the wife demonstrated her need and the husband's ability to pay. However the trial court refused to award permanent periodic alimony based upon the fact that the husband was going to retire in ten years. The Court of Appeal said that the trial court should not have speculated as to what the parties' needs and ability to pay were going to be in ten years. The Court stated that trial courts are not permitted to consider future events in setting current alimony due to the uncertainty surrounding the future. The appellate court pointed out that a payor's retirement does not require the termination of an award of alimony. A parties' retirement just allows a trial court to look at the parties' then current ability to pay and their needs. 

When Will Modification of Alimony Be Granted in Florida?

Modification of Alimony in FloridaA modification of alimony may be granted where: (a) there has been a substantial change in circumstances, (b) the change was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment granting a divorce, and (3) the change is sufficient, material, permanent, and involuntary. In Jarrard v. Jarrard, the Florida Court of Appeal reversed a trial court decision in which the lower court denied the husband's Supplemental Petition for Modification of Alimony. The appellate court reversed the lower court's ruling because they found that the husband had met his burden to establish a sufficient, material, permanent and involuntary substantial change of circumstances that was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment granting the divorce.

Florida Alimony Reform - Retirement & The Modification of Alimony

A Petition for alimony or termination of alimony may be filed by an alimony obligor based upon his or her actual retirement, under the new alimony reform bill that was recently introduced in the Florida House of Representatives.  In order for there to be a termination or modification of alimony, the following circumstances must occur: (i) the paying spouse must have reached the age for eligibility to receive full Social Security retirement benefits and have retired, or (ii) the paying spouse must have reached the customary age for retirement for his or her occupation and must have retired from that occupation.

Florida Alimony Reform - Cohabitation and the Modification of Alimony

The modification of alimony as a result of cohabitation and the entry into a supportive relationship was recently addressed as part of the Florida Alimony Reform Legislation that was introduced in the 2015 session of the Florida House of Representatives.

Modification of Alimony in Jupiter, Florida

To obtain a modification of alimony, the party seeking the change must prove that there is a substantial change in circumstances, that was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment, that is sufficient, material, involuntary, and permanent in nature. In Albu v. Albu the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated that: "In this appeal, the former husband argues that the alimony should have been terminated rather than reduced, because his income...did not meet his expenses... 

Modification of Alimony in North Palm Beach, Florida

In a modification of alimony proceeding, where the marital settlement agreement indicates that alimony is not modifiable, except under certain circumstances, absent the occurrence of those described circumstance, alimony will be nonmodifiable. In Elbaum v. Elbaum, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "Robert Elbaum appeals from a final order dismissing with prejudice his petition to terminate or modify his alimony obligations. We affirm because the marital settlement agreement unambiguously limited the ability to modify alimony to specific situations not raised in the petition...[T]his case is nearly identical to that confronted in Smith v. Smith, 110 So. 3d 108 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013). In Smith, the parties' marital settlement agreement provided: 

Modification of Alimony in Jupiter, Florida

In a modification of alimony proceeding, the moving party must show that there has been a substantial change in the party's circumstances, the change was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment of dissolution, and the change is sufficient, material, involuntary, and permanent in nature. In Garvey v. Garvey, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "This court has explained: 'In petitioning to modify alimony, the moving party must show three fundamental prerequisites: First, there must be a substantial change in circumstances. Second, the change was not contemplated at the time of final judgment of dissolution. Third, the change is sufficient, material, involuntary, and permanent in nature. Zeballos, 951 So. 2d at 974 (quoting Pimm v. Pimm, 601 So. 2d 534, 536 (Fla. 1992))... Further, "the proof required to modify a settlement agreement and the proof required to modify an award established by court order shall be the same." ยง 61.14(7), Fla. Stat. (2011)... 

Modification of Alimony in Palm Beach, Florida

In a modification of alimony proceeding, a trial court can temporarily modify an alimony award while the award is being appealed. It cannot alter the actual alimony award during the pendency of the appeal. In Horowitz v. Horowitz the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "[T]he trial court may conduct a hearing on the modification petition and issue orders consistent with Rule 9.600(c). It may not, however, enter a final judgment disposing of the modification petition until the appeal is final and our mandate issues. Thompson v. Stewart, 569 So. 2d 1372 (Fla. 4th DCA 1990); Campbell v. Campbell, 436 So. 2d 374 (Fla. 5th DCA 1983); Kalmutz v. Kalmutz, 299 So. 2d 30 (Fla. 4thDCA 1974)...We begin with the principle stated by this court in Kalmutz: [W]hen the jurisdiction of the appellate court attaches it is exclusive as to the subject covered by the appeal; so that modification of an order under appeal would be beyond the jurisdiction of the trial court from the very innate nature of the appellate jurisdiction and from the very practical viewpoint that there is no order to be modified until the appellate court determines what the order actually is. Kalmutz, 299 So. 2d at 32 n.l...

Modification of Alimony in Boynton Beach, Florida

In a modification of alimony proceeding, where the have parties agreed that alimony is non-modifiable and there is no provision in the Marital Settlement Agreement that it will cease upon remarriage, bridge the gap alimony is non-modifiable. In Taylor v. Lutz, the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "[S]ection 61.08(5)...states: 'Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded to assist a party by providing support to allow the party to make a transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a party with legitimate identifiable short-term needs, and the length of an award may not exceed 2 years. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. 

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