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.

If an alimony obligor voluntarily retires before reaching either of the ages described above, the court shall determine whether the obligor’s retirement is reasonable based upon a consideration of the obligor’s: (i) age, (ii) health, (iii) motivation for retirement, and (iv) the financial impact on the alimony recipient. Upon a finding that the payor’s retirement is reasonable, there is a rebuttable presumption that an existing alimony obligation shall be modified or terminated.

The court shall modify or terminate the alimony obligation, or make a determination regarding whether the rebuttable presumption has been overcome, based upon the following factors that currently apply to the parties: (i) the age of the parties, (ii) the health of the parties, (iii) the assets and liabilities of the parties, (iv) the earned or imputed income of the parties, (v) the ability of the parties to maintain part-time or full-time employment, and (iv) any other factors that the court considers to be relevant.

The court is to temporarily suspend the payor’s payment of alimony while his or her petition for modification or termination is pending.

Parties who unreasonably pursue or defend proceedings for modification of alimony are required to pay the reasonable attorney fees and costs of the prevailing party. Additionally, parties who would ordinarily be permitted to receive attorney’s fees under Fla. Stat. § 61.16 will not be entitled to receive these fees if the party unreasonably pursues or defends an alimony modification proceeding.

A modification or termination of an alimony award is retroactive to the date of the filing of the petition, unless the payee demonstrates that this would be inequitable.

To speak with a Modification of Alimony attorney in Palm Beach County, Florida contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 363-3400.