Modification of Alimony in Boca Raton, Florida

Modification of Alimony should be granted retroactively to the date the petition was filed if the reasons justifying modification existed at that time. In a case captioned Nuttle v. Nuttle the former husband appealed a final judgment modifying his alimony obligation. The Florida Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s decision and remanded the case back to the trial court to correctly modify the former husband’s alimony. In 2015, the parties entered into a marital settlement agreement under which the former husband agreed to pay his former wife durational alimony. Before the trial court signed the final judgment, the former husband filed a supplemental petition for modification of alimony based on the fact that the former husband was notified by his employer that he was going to be terminated from his employment. Eleven months after the parties entered into the marital settlement agreement, the trial court entered a final judgment that incorporated the terms of the marital settlement agreement and reserved jurisdiction to hear the former husband’s modification of alimony. The former husband then filed an amended supplemental petition for modification of alimony.

The trial court only granted the former husband’s supplemental petition for modification of alimony back to the date on which the former husband filed the amended supplemental petition for modification of alimony, rather than the date on which the former husband filed the original supplemental petition for modification of alimony. The Florida Court of Appeal reversed stating that modifications of alimony should be granted retroactively to the date of the filing of the original supplemental petition for modification of alimony if the need for the alimony reduction existed at the time of the filing of the original supplemental petition for modification of alimony. Under Florida law, a court may increase or decrease alimony retroactive to the date of the filing of the supplemental petition for modification when it is equitable to do so in light of changed circumstances or a changes in a parties’ financial ability to pay alimony. Where a payor’s need for a reduction in the amount of alimony he pays exists at the time he filed his original petition for modification of alimony, then his alimony should be retroactively reduced as of the date of the filing of the supplemental petition.

To speak with a divorce attorney in Palm Beach County, Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 328-1111.

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