Can Alimony be Changed or Modified?

money, wedding rings, and alimony paper

When a couple gets a divorce and alimony is ordered, the amount and how long alimony will last are determined. However, because life is always changing, this amount or duration is not always sustainable. So what options do people have if they feel that their spousal support order needs to be changed? Keep reading to find out.

How to File For a Spousal Support Modification

In order to qualify for a modification on alimony, Florida law requires there to be a "substantial change in circumstances." That means you cannot get a modification just because you want one. The change must be something that could not have been anticipated at the time the court ordered the original alimony decision. Additionally, the change must be permanent, unexpected, and involuntary in nature.

A substantial change that may warrant a modification to alimony may include one of the following:

  • Health and medical issues
  • Long-term unemployment
  • A large increase or decrease in income
  • Lottery winnings
  • Received a substantial gift or inheritance
  • Availability of medical insurance
  • The spouse receiving alimony gets remarried
  • Or an involuntary long-term decreased ability to pay

Essentially, there must be undeniable proof that your life has changed so significantly that it makes it nearly impossible for you to pay your current alimony order. The court has the ability to decide whether to modify an order of support, retroactively to the date of the original filing, or supplemental action for modification. However, the judge will only reduce or terminate alimony if it is properly requested through the correct modification paperwork.

What Happens if You Stop Paying Alimony?

Refusing or failing to pay alimony can result in severe consequences. To name a few, you could be required to pay your former spouse's attorney fees, have your driver's license revoked, or even spend time in jail.

If you are struggling with fulfilling your alimony order, it is essential to file for a modification as soon as your circumstances have changed. To avoid facing penalties, speak to a Broward County alimony modification attorney as quickly as possible.

Seek Skilled Legal Representation Today

When it comes to spousal support, having a trusted attorney by your side is vital. To learn more about what qualifies as a substantial change in circumstances for a modification of alimony, talk to an experienced divorce attorney in Florida today. The Law Offices of Jonny Kousa, P.L. has experience handling alimony cases and will make sure your rights are protected throughout every step of the modification process.

Contact our Broward County divorce attorneys today at (954) 626-8071. We are ready to answer your alimony modification questions.