Your former spouse spent all of the retirement money on expensive cars and gadgets while you skimped and saved, and you are stuck with paying alimony because you now have more money than he or she does. This is a typical scenario under Florida’s current alimony laws, which aim to protect homemakers who would be left destitute after a divorce without regular income from their former spouse — however, these laws tend to work against those in two-wage-earner households, and this is one of many reasons that the laws have been under attack in recent years.
In May 2013, Governor Rick Scott vetoed an alimony reform proposal aimed at eliminating permanent alimony in divorce cases. Furthermore, the bill would have made it harder to collect alimony in marriages that lasted 11 years or less. Although the bill did not pass, many are still voicing discontent with some of the system’s flaws and a similar bill is likely to reappear (with some possible modifications) in the near future.
Current alimony statute
Florida’s alimony laws provide for various types of alimony and only allow for an order of permanent alimony after the court has found that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. Following are some rules regarding modification of an alimony arrangement in Florida:
- Permanent alimony is only non-modifiable if both parties agree to it in writing.
- Reduced expenses for the alimony payer may only serve as a basis for modification if the court first finds that the alimony recipient needs the increase.
- Generally, a change in the alimony statute would not, by itself, serve as a sufficient basis for altering a previously ordered alimony arrangement.
If you are in a current alimony arrangement and are seeking to alter it or fight off an unfavorable modification, get in touch with an experienced Florida family law attorney today.