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.
The Court of Appeal also pointed out that in a modification of alimony case, durational alimony may be extended in exceptional circumstances where there is a need for continued alimony. The Court of Appeal reversed the lower courts finding that the wife could not obtain an extension of her durational alimony award.
If you have questions to ask a divorce attorney in Wellington, Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 363-3400.