Modification or Termination of Alimony
In the state of Florida, certain types of alimony can be modified or changed after a judgment is handed down and there are some instances when alimony can be terminated or stopped altogether. In all cases, there must be proven a material, substantial, and unanticipated (prior to final judgment) change before a case can even be considered. In other words, cause for modification must be serious enough such as a critical illness, winning the lottery, an unavoidable job loss; must have a specific time and or monetary value; must not have known to occur prior to the judge’s decree such as drastic change in income or expenses or inability to secure a job, lost to no fault of the person, over an extended period of time. All allegations must be proven.
There are four types of alimony in Florida which can be modified and/or terminated. They are Permanent, Rehabilitative, Bridge-the-gap, and Durational. The following breakdown will show which types can be modified post judgment and which types can be terminated post judgment.
Modified alimony can occur with permanent alimony (alimony for the life of the recipient). However, if either party dies or the party receiving alimony remarries or enters into cohabitation (living in a supportive relationship) with a non-relative permanent, alimony will be terminated.
Durational alimony is alimony given for a set amount of time and can be modified for the length of time only, not the amount, and the additional time cannot be longer than the length of the marriage. Death of either party will terminate durational alimony.
Bridge-the-gap alimony, which is intended to help a party adjust to the requirements of being single is non-modifiable. It is awarded for two years, only. Should either party die, the alimony will terminate.
Rehabilitative alimony, that is alimony received to enhance employment skills or gain an education needed to become gainfully employed. This type of alimony can be terminated if the recipient fails to follow the plan for rehabilitation required prior to the awarding of this type of alimony, or if the recipient finishes the training or education before the end of the alimony awarded for rehabilitation. Death of either party will also terminate rehabilitative alimony.
To obtain a modification or termination of alimony is a similar process to the original process of dissolution of marriage and it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced, Family Law attorney. If you live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough county in Florida or in Washington DC, Attorney Grant Gisondo, with over 10 years in Family Law, can help. He offers an initial, free, in-office (his office is in Palm Beach Gardens) consultation where he will meet with you personally to answer questions and share how he will be able to help. He is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (unless he is in court) and Saturdays, for new clients, from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. Call (561) 530-4568 for an appointment.