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Modification of Alimony and Child Support

After the entry of a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage awarding alimony to a spouse, circumstances can arise which would support the modification downwards or upwards of that alimony award. Under Florida law, alimony will be terminated upon the death of a party or upon remarriage of the party receiving alimony. In the event that the receiving spouse (“obligee”) enters into a supportive relationship with someone else, alimony may be terminated or modified. Some people have their “significant other” move in with them after the dissolution of marriage is entered but never marry that person, thus causing the support payments to continue. The court may now look at a number of factors, such as the period of time the obligee resided with the other person, whether they pooled their assets or income, to determine whether this supportive relationship exists, affecting the right to alimony payments. See 61.14 Florida Statutes.

The retirement of a paying former spouse frequently causes a modification to occur. Other changes in earning capacity can be the basis for a modification. There should be sufficient evidence of the change in finances affecting the ability to pay as well as the receiving party’s requisite need for the alimony. Voluntary reductions in income such as the payor quitting his or her job or intentionally causing the loss of his or her job to reduce the support awarded are not looked upon favorably. There have been a number of contested cases concerning the requests for reduction and/or increase in alimony and it is important that a professional review the unique circumstances of your individual matter so that you can be advised appropriately