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When can you seek to lower or eliminate alimony payments?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2018 | Alimony

Since your divorce, you have been paying alimony to your ex. Maybe you reached a spousal support agreement yourselves, with the help of your attorneys. Maybe you couldn’t agree on an amount, so a judge had to get involved to make the decision. However it was done, your spousal support payments were likely based in large part on your financial situation and that of your soon-to-be ex.

Any number of circumstances can change in both of your lives that may warrant a change in your spousal support obligations. A person who’s paying alimony may want to seek a modification if any of the following happens to them:

  • A job loss or significant decrease in income. Either of those must be involuntary. You can’t just quit your job or decide to go part-time and expect to owe less alimony.
  • A disabling injury or illness that impacts your ability to work.
  • A new child. If you have another child, you may be able to argue that because you have this new financial obligation, you can’t pay as much in alimony.

The payer may also seek a modification if any of the following circumstances change in their ex-spouse’s life:

  • A significant change in income. This can occur if the supported ex-spouse becomes employed after not having worked in the past or gets a job or promotion that pays a good deal more than they were making previously. Note that if your ex gets a small raise, that’s probably not going to warrant a change in your support obligations.
  • A “supportive relationship.” Under Florida law, if an ex-spouse moves in with or is otherwise financially supported by a new significant other, the paying spouse may seek to have their alimony reduced or eliminated.
  • Remarriage. If the supported ex-spouse legally marries someone else, alimony payments are no longer required.

If any of these things has occurred or other circumstances have significantly changed the imbalance between your financial situation and that of the ex-spouse whom you’re supporting, talk with your Florida family law attorney. They can help you determine whether a request to lower or end your spousal support payments is in order. If so, they can help you petition the court for a modification.