Modification of Alimony Part 3 of 7 | Divorce Attorney Fort Myers/Naples

MODIFICATION OF PERMANENT ALIMONY

  • Pursuant to section 61.08(8), Florida Statutes, an award of permanent alimony “may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances or upon the existence of a supportive relationship in accordance with s. 61.14.”
  • Permanent periodic alimony is always subject to modification, unless the parties specifically waive this right. Canakaris v.  Canakaris, 382 So.2d 1197, 1202 (Fla.  1980).
  • Improper Automatic Future Reduction. It was improper to order an automatic downward modification of alimony based on the anticipated future event that wife would be entitled to a retirement account at age 62, where retirement funds were distributed to her as a part of equitable distribution and could not be considered a source of future “alimony.” Goodwin v. Goodwin, 640 So.2d 173 (Fla.  1st DCA 1994)
  • Generally, an increase in the needs of the recipient spouse may justify modification of alimony, so long as the payor has the financial ability to pay. See Kaufman v. Kaufman, 541 So.2d 743 (Fla.  3d DCA  1989).
  • alimony should not be increased absent proof of an increased need for support, and the paying spouse’s ability to meet that increased obligation. See England v. England, 520 So.2d 699 (Fla. 4th DCA 1988).
  • the court can consider the receiving spouse’s current employability in determining whether modification is proper. Rosen v. Rosen, 696 So.2d 697, 698 (Fla. 1997).
  • Needs Being Met Through Family or Friends. If the increased needs of the recipient are being met through the generosity of friends or family, it cannot be argued that his or her needs have not increased so as to support an increase in alimony. Gardner v.  Gardner, 692 So.2d 245 (Fla.  1st DCA  1997).
    • The court should, however, consider the effect of the receiving spouse’s new income on his or her needs. See Becker v. Becker, 720 So.2d 1111 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998).

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