Alimony Modifications in Florida

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In order to obtain a modification in the duration or amount of alimony payment the court must first consider if the type of alimony that the party was granted is modifiable.

If the alimony that was awarded is the type that can be modified, the spouse seeking the modification must show a substantial change of circumstances in either a party’s need for the alimony payment modification or a substantial change in circumstances in a party’s ability to pay.

The court will considers the following factors in order to grant a modification to alimony payments.

  • The change must be significant;
  • The change could not have been contemplated at the time of the divorce or dissolution.

Under Florida Family Law Rule 12.540 an alimony judgment may be reopened within a reasonable time-frame if either spouse filed a fraudulent financial affidavit so long as the requesting party requests the court to reopen the matter within a reasonable time period after the fraud is discovered.

A supportive relationship, such as a new marriage or “live together relationship”, may be grounds for modification of alimony in Florida. If a person receiving a modifiable type of alimony enters into a supportive relationship with another, an earlier award of alimony may be modified or terminated. In determining the existence of a “supportive relationship” the court will consider if the persons are holding themselves out as a married couple, the period of time the parties have cohabited and the extent of the parties’ financial interdependence on one another.

Typically, the obligation to pay alimony ends upon the death of either partner. However, alimony responsibilities cannot be terminated by a bankruptcy.

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