Modification of Alimony in Jupiter, Florida

Modification of Alimony

  In order to justify a modification of alimony, the moving party must show a substantial change in circumstances, that the change was not contemplated at the final judgment of dissolution, and that the change is sufficient, material, permanent, and involuntary. In Anderson v. Durham the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated that: “A trial court’s order addressing modification of alimony is reviewed for abuse of discretion. See Leonard v. Leonard, 971 So. 2d 263, 266 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008). “In order to justify a modification of alimony, the moving party must show: (1) a substantial change in circumstances; (2) that the change was not contemplated at the final judgment of dissolution; and (3) that the change is sufficient, material, permanent, and involuntary.” Rahn v. Rahn, 768 So. 2d 1102, 1105 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000). When faced with a request to modify alimony, a court should consider the parties’ income, the payee’s need for alimony, and the payor’s ability to pay. Leonard, 971 So. 2d at 267. Here, the basis for Former Husband’s request for a reduction in his alimony obligation was his plan to retire after working for 40 years which, he asserted, would result in a reduction in his income and ability to continue to pay his alimony obligation. “[P]ost-judgment retirement constitutes a change of circumstances which may be considered together with other relevant factors upon a petition to modify alimony.” McManus v. McManus, 638 So. 2d 1051, 1052 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994).

In Pimm v. Pimm, 601 So.2d534 (Fla. 1992),the court explained that, in deciding whether a party’s intent to retirement is reasonable, the trial court must consider the payor’s age, health, and motivation for retirement, as well as the type of work-the payor performs and the age at which others engaged in that line of work normally retire… Even at the age of sixty-five or later, a payor spouse should not be permitted to unilaterally choose voluntary retirement if this choice places the receiving spouse in peril of poverty. Thus, the court should consider the needs of the receiving spouse and the impact a termination or reduction of alimony would have on him or her. In assessing those needs, the court should consider assets the receiving spouse has accumulated or received since the final judgment as well as any income generated by those assets.”

To speak with a divorce attorney in Jupiter, Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.

retirement constitutes a change of circumstances which may be considered together with other relevant factors upon a petition to modify alimony.” McManus v. McManus, 638 So. 2d 1051, 1052 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994). 

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