In Dills v. Perez, the Florida 5th District Court of Appeals found the trial court had committed reversible error where it terminated the Former Husband’s alimony obligation on remarriage of the Former Wife.
While Florida Statute Section 61.08(7) mandates that an award of durational alimony terminates on death or remarriage of the party receiving alimony, in this case the parties’ Marital Settlement Agreement stated that durational alimony that would be non-modifiable for 48 months and the Former Wife remarried within the 48 month period. The Appellate Court recognized that the parties had agreed to relief beyond what the statute would have otherwise provided for but it was permissible and binding for the parties to do so.
As the parties had specifically included the language that the durational alimony would be non-modifiable during the the 48 Month period the 5th District Court of Appeals reversed the lower Court decision allowing for the termination of the alimony obligation. Had the parties not included such language the alimony obligation would have terminated upon remarriage as per the statute.
If you are going through a divorce, considering a settlement, or facing modification of alimony it is important you understand your legal rights and the intricacies of your situation so contact us for a consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case.
Pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 61.14(b)(1) a court may reduce or terminate an award of alimony upon specific written findings by the court that since the granting of a divorce and the award of alimony a supportive relationship has existed between the obligee and a person with whom the obligee resides. The burden is on the obligor to seek the modification and prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a supportive relationship exists.
In Pollack v. Pollack, the Fifth District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida confirmed that a termination of alimony on such grounds should be retroactive to the time of filing a petition for modification rather than the beginning of the supportive relationship itself.
Delaying in the filing a petition for modification can cost you the alimony payments owed between the time of the beginning of the supportive relationship and the time of actual filing of the petition for modification. A party seeking the modification on such grounds will want just enough time to pass to be able to obtain and present clear evidence of the supportive relationship to the court.
If you need to talk to one of our lawyers about the modification of alimony, please call our office to schedule a consultation.
Child support does not automatically modify when there is a change in circumstances that warrants it, a party must file a supplemental petition for modification of it. When there has been a substantial change in circumstances warranting a modification of child support a parent needs to file a supplemental petition for modification of child support as soon as possible after the change has occurred as a court can only modify child support from the date of filing of the supplemental petition.
Where courts have attempted to modify child support from before the date of the supplemental petition they have been reversed on appeal. For instance, in Tatum v. Tatum the Fifth District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida reversed the trial court’s decision to retroactively modify child support to a date prior to the date of the filing of the petition for modification.
If you need to seek an upward or downward modification of child support you need to get your supplemental petition filed as soon as possible after the substantial change in circumstances has occurred so that it the change can be retroactive to as close to the date of the change warranting the modification as possible.
Most types of alimony available under Florida law can be modified where there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Modification of alimony is based on need and ability to pay.
Examples of situations where a modification of alimony may be warranted include a substantial reduction in the income of the party paying alimony, an increase in the income of the party receiving alimony, a reduction in the expenses of the receiving party, or the receiving party entering into a new supportive relationship since the judgement or agreement awarding alimony. The court may consider if a change is temporary or permanent, whether it is voluntary or involuntary, and other such factors in making its determination. A modification of alimony can be a downwards or upwards modification.
The statutory right to modification of alimony, unless specifically waived, is as a matter of law incorporated into a judgment or agreement awarding alimony. However, modification of alimony can be waived in an agreement establishing alimony if explicitly stated in an agreement.
It the type of alimony awarded in your case is modifiable and modification is warranted by the circumstances in your case alimony may even be reduced to zero. The modification of alimony is meant to be retroactive to the date of the filing of the alimony modification action.
If you need help in a modification of alimony case or accessing if you are a good candidate to seek a modification of alimony contact us for a consultation (786) 539-4935.