Florida Alimony Reform Statute 2016

Modification of Alimony based on retirement was addressed in the Alimony Reform Statute that was recently passed on March 8, 2016. The statute was vetoed by Governor Scott on April 15, 2016.

Under the Alimony Reform Statute, an alimony payor may obtain a termination or a modification of alimony based upon his or her retirement when: (a) the payor has reached the age for eligibility to receive full retirement benefits under the Social Security Act and has retired; or (b) the payor has reached the customary retirement age for his or her profession and has retired from that profession. A payor may file an action for modification or termination of alimony within one year of his or her anticipated retirement date and the court will then decide the customary retirement date for the obligor’s occupation. A determination of the customary retirement age is not an determination of the merits of the petition for termination or modification of alimony.

If an alimony payor retires voluntarily before reaching any of the ages described above, the court will decide whether the payor’s retirement is reasonable based upon the payor’s age, health, and motivation for retirement and the financial impact the payor’s retirement on the payee.

A finding of reasonableness by the court shall constitute a substantial change in circumstance.

In the event that the Court finds that the payor’s retirement was reasonable, there is a rebuttable presumption that an alimony payor’s existing obligation should be terminated or modified. The court will either terminate or modify the alimony obligation, or make a decision about whether the rebuttable presumption has been overcome, based upon the following factors: (i) the parties’ ages; (ii) the parties’ health; (iii) the parties’ liabilities and assets; (iv) the parties’ earned or imputed income; (v) the parties’ ability to maintain full-time or part-time employment; and (vi) any other factor deemed relevant by the court.

The trial court is permitted to temporarily suspend or reduce the payor’s alimony payments while his or her supplemental petition for modification or termination is pending.

Any party who unreasonably defends or pursues an action for modification of alimony will be required to pay the attorney’s fees and costs of the prevailing party. A party that is required to pay the prevailing party’s attorney’s fees and costs will not be entitled to receive an award of attorney’s fees and costs against the other party.

There is a rebuttable presumption that a termination or modification of an alimony is retroactive to the date of the filing of the supplemental petition, unless the payee demonstrates that this would be inequitable.

To speak with a modification of alimony attorney based on your retirement, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.