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How To Stop Alimony Payments In Florida

Modify Alimony Because Of Remarriage

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The fundamental policy behind an award of alimony is the disparity in the financial resources of the two parties. Florida law considers one partys ability to pay alimony vs. the other partys need for alimony. See Eckert v. Eckert. Therefore, if an ex-spouse remarries or has become involved in a supportive relationship, it may change financial resources and create a need to modify alimony.

However, Florida courts have ruled that voluntary contributions of a live-in companion cannot be substituted for the legal obligation of a former spouse. See Mott v. Mott. Moreover, the court should consider the financial resources the only resources the parties have available, and that are in their control. See Azzarelli v. Pupello.

Determining whether the supportive relationship is grounds for an alimony modification will depend on the circumstances of each case in the Florida courts. The court will consider many factors, such as:

The financial information of a former spouses new partner may be confidential and barred from a petition to modify alimony in Florida. The financial information of private persons is entitled to protection by Floridas constitutional right of privacy. See Mogul v. Mogul. However, suppose the Tampa divorce lawyer seeking modification can prove the financial information is relevant, or there is a compelling reason to compel disclosure. In that case, it will be admissible in a modification case.

Does Cohabitation Affect Alimony

Yes. Cohabitation can affect alimony for both the supported and obligor spouses.

If a supported spouse starts cohabitating with another person, they could have their alimony award reduced or eliminated. Under Florida law, cohabitation counts as:

  • A living arrangement where a supported spouse lives with another person they arent related to by blood or marriage AND
  • A living arrangement where the supported spouse receives financial assistance from the other person

For example, if a supported ex-spouse in an alimony arrangement moves in with a new long-term partner, and that partner provides any form of financial support, the obligor spouse may have grounds to petition the court for an alimony reduction.

Modification Of Alimony Due To Loss Of Income During The Coronavirus Outbreak

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Whether you have been laid off, or you have had your hours reduced or been furloughed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may not have the income that you need to meet your alimony obligation. If you are currently required to make court-ordered alimony payments, you should bring a motion to modify the order. People who simply stop paying while the obligation is in effect may be ordered to pay retroactively once the pandemic is over, which can be financially devastating. In Florida, a modification of alimony may be requested if the financial circumstances of either ex-spouse change. If you need to pursue a motion for modification of alimony due to loss of income during the coronavirus outbreak, you should consult the Miami alimony lawyers at Sandy T. Fox, P.A.

Florida Law on Alimony and COVID-19

Under Florida Revised Statutes section 61.14, you will need to show that there has been an unanticipated, permanent, involuntary, and material change in circumstances that affects your ability to pay. Your involuntary loss of income during the coronavirus outbreak may qualify as a substantial change in circumstances. Voluntarily quitting your job or purposely seeking termination during the outbreak likely will not qualify.

Temporary Modification of Alimony for Loss of Income Due to COVID-19Retroactive ApplicationHire a Miami Attorney to Protect Your Interests

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Modification Of Alimony In Florida

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Can I modify my alimony?

Alimony in Florida is normally modifiable in amount and sometimes duration. That can change according to the specific type of alimony that was awarded. Alimony is never modifiable if the original judgment did not grant alimony. Some agreements may specify non-modifiable alimony. That changes the alimony to something that cannot be changed at any time. There are certain conditions that must be met for a modification of alimony such as large changes in income.

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Does Adultery Affect Alimony

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Florida is commonly referred to as a no-fault divorce state. Under Florida divorce law, you dont need to prove adultery or other reasons for a divorce. See Florida divorce law 61.052. All Florida law requires is there be irreconcilable differences to obtain a divorce. Therefore, adultery will usually not be relevant to a judges determination for permanent alimony in Florida. However, if marital assets were used to further the adulterous relationship, it can be considered during the divorce. The funds used on the relationship may be viewed as a waste and be a credit awarded to the innocent spouse.

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How Long Am I Expected To Pay Spousal Support In Florida

In terms of the duration of alimony, Florida law specifically defines marriage in terms of length:

  • Short-term: a marriage lasting less than 7 years
  • Moderate-term: a marriage lasting between 7 and 17 years
  • Long-term: a marriage lasting longer than 17 years

These definitions of marriage are important because the length of an alimony award is related to the length of the marriage.

For example, in a short or moderate-term marriage, the parties should expect to pay or receive alimony for a short or moderate time period. Similarly, parties should expect to pay or receive alimony over a long period of time in a long-term marriage.

It is uncommon, however, for a Florida court to order that the parties pay or receive alimony beyond the term of the marriage. For example, a Florida court is unlikely to award a long duration of paying or receiving alimony in a short-term marriage.

Get Legal Guidance About Alimony From A Reliable Divorce Attorney

If you are in need of alimony modification or suspect a need for statutory termination of alimony due to your dependent spouses cohabitation with another person, speak with an experienced family law attorney at King Law today. We are well-versed in North Carolina law regarding the complex matters surrounding the termination of alimony and understand how to protect your personal rights and interests with compassion and diligence.

Contact our North and South Carolina offices, and we will be glad to go over your options and possible outcomes for your case. Call our toll-free number at or request a consultation by completing our contact form.

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Death Of Either Party

Alimony will automatically be terminated following the death of either party. If the party receiving the alimony passes on, their dependents are not entitled to continue receiving alimony, and neither are the dependents of the paying party mandated to continue making the payment if the paying party has passed on. This is because alimony is treated as a contract between two parties which automatically ends with the death of either person.

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In the same vein, alimony recipients like to add in inappropriate expenses that Florida law does not support.

Remember, alimony is for your spouse. Not for the children, friends, or the church.

Whats more, alimony is supposed to cover the needs as they are. Alimony does not cover something extra so that your spouse can put money in retirement or in a 401K.

Thoroughly look for expenses that have a kid component to them. Travel expenses, eating expenses, and household goods are major places to look.

Look for expenses related to gifts. Think birthday parties, Christmas gifts, and church donations.

Finally look for money that your spouse intends to put towards savings or retirement.

And dig in and fight these parts of the alimony request.

The law is on your side.

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Statutory Termination Of Alimony

  • Statutory Termination of Alimony
  • When a couple separates, it is common for one or both parties to move on as if they were no longer married. You may even find yourself quickly engaged in a long-term relationship. However, if alimony has been awarded to you during your separation, be aware that cohabitation will automatically terminate your rights to these payments. So, before you jump into a new relationship, you should speak to an attorney to determine the best steps to take to prevent these payments from ceasing.

    Alimony In Florida Guide: Divorce & Family Law

    Alimony is financial support provided to an ex-spouse to help maintain the standard of living maintained during the marriage. There are many different types of alimony in Florida, which vary in amount, form, and duration. The amount and duration of alimony in Florida are determined on a case-by-case basis. If you are seeking alimony in Florida or trying to prevent paying alimony, contact a divorce law firm in Tampa for help. A skilled Tampa divorce lawyer can make a big difference in if and how much alimony is awarded. Nobody likes paying for an attorney, but in some cases, it can save a lot of money in the long run.

    The policy behind alimony is to alleviate the financial disparity between the two parties. When determining alimony that should be awarded, Florida family law courts look at one spouses ability to pay vs. the other spouses need for alimony. If permanent alimony is awarded, the alimony payment should be sufficient to support the spouses standard of living.

    There are many factors that a judge may consider when determining alimony in Florida is appropriate. If alimony is appropriate, the court will have to determine the durational alimony amount to bridge the gap. Regardless, alimony may not leave the person paying alimony with significantly less net income than the recipients net income.

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    Can I Stop Paying Alimony In Florida Now That My Former Spouse Is Cohabitating With Someone

    Consultations are available in Miami and at several meeting locations throughout Dade and Broward Counties including Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, West Country Club Drive in Aventura, Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood and in the Homestead area. Appointments are also available by telephone and via Skype internet video chat. Telephone our office at 222-7351 or send us an email to schedule a consultation.

    When scheduling a consultation, please inform the secretary if there are any pending hearings, deadlines for filing an appeal, or other reason why you may need an immediate appointment. We will do our very best to accommodate your schedule in setting an appointment.


    The statements in this section are based on Florida law and have been issued to inform and not advise. The statements are general in nature and individual facts in a given case may alter their application or involve other laws not referred to here.

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    • Let us make this process easier. Contact us by email below or call 1-844-VARI-LAW to schedule a confidential consultation.

    When There Is An Alimony Judgment And You Want To Modify Alimony

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    Before you can file for a modification of alimony in Florida you must qualify by having a Substantial Change in Circumstances. If you do not satisfy that requirement you cannot open a modification case. A substantial change in circumstances means a change that was unanticipated at the time the alimony was ordered by the court. The change must be permanent, involuntary, and material .

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    Modifying An Alimony Award In Florida

    In most cases either spouse can request that the court modify either the amount of an alimony award or the duration of an alimony award. Modifying a previous alimony award requires the spouse requesting the modification to demonstrate that there has been a substantial change in circumstances for at least one of the spouses. A substantial change of circumstances must be a significant change that is expected to continue and that was not anticipated at the time the original alimony award was entered. Whether a particular set of facts qualifies as substantial changes is a topic of frequent litigation.

    There are certain factual circumstances which will usually be considered a substantial change of circumstances. These include:

    • A substantial raise or an involuntary decrease in pay
    • A change in benefits
    • A serious long-term illness
    • The remarriage of the payee spouse
    • Voluntary changes of circumstance that are sound and well-reasoned decisions

    Conversely, there are factual circumstances which will usually not be considered substantial changes of circumstance:

    • A spouse who voluntarily and unreasonably quits his or her job or is fired without good cause
    • Expenses associated with a second marriage

    New Florida Law Would Get Rid Of Permanent Alimony Set Payments Based On Time Married

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Continuing a decade-long effort to rewrite the states alimony laws, the FloridaHouse on Wednesday approved a contentious measure that would do away with permanent alimony and set up maximum payments based on the duration of marriage.

    The measure, now set for action by Gov. Ron DeSantis, drew emotional debate from people on both sides of the issue during committee meetings in recent weeks. The Senate approved the bill last week.

    This year is the third time the Legislature has passed alimony overhauls, with former Gov. Rick Scott twice vetoing such legislation. A standoff over the issue led to a near-fracas outside Scotts office in 2016.

    One of the most controversial parts of this years legislation would change the process for modification of alimony when people who have been paying seek to retire. Critics argued the plan could impoverish older ex-spouses who have been homemakers and are dependent on the payments.

    The ex-spouses who pay would have to give one years notice indicating they intend to retire and could stop payments upon retirement, except under certain circumstances.

    Under the bill, alimony recipients who have incomes up to 130% of the federal poverty level without alimony, are full-time caregivers of mentally or physically disabled children or who are unable to care for themselves would be able to file objections to the retirement notices. Judges would be allowed to extend the duration of alimony in those instances.

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    Strategy : Put An End Date On Alimony Payments

    Alimony payments do not have to be a lifelong affair. You should strongly consider including a termination date in your divorce decree or agreement. This will remove the need to return to court at a later date, saving you from financial burden. The payments will simply terminate.

    End dates for short marriages are usually one half the length of the union. It is much harder to predict the alimony termination date on a marriage that was lengthier, however. You should speak with an attorney to figure out what end date would be reasonable for your situation, given the duration and individual circumstances of your marriage.

    Permanent alimony may still be ordered by the judge during your divorce finalization. It is usually issued when a spouse lacks the ability to support themselves due to extenuating circumstances, such as age or disability.

    Need And Ability To Pay

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    Alimony can be modified or terminated based on the need and ability to pay. If the payers ability to pay alimony has decreased, this may merit a change in circumstances to reduce alimony payments. Similarly, a change in financial need of the payee may also merit a change in circumstances. The current economic climate has played a large part in the rise of individuals seeking to modify alimony based on both financial need and ability to pay.

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    Voluntary Termination Of Alimony

    North Carolina does not have any set guidelines for determining the duration of alimony payments. Instead, a judge will examine the details of each case and make a decision based on the information available. Typically, a former spouse will continue to receive spousal support until they remarry or cohabitate with a new partner. However, it is also possible to end alimony payments through voluntary termination.

    There are two ways a couple can go about voluntarily terminating alimony payments:

    • Both parties agree that alimony payments will cease after a certain amount of time or event, such as the lower-earning spouse finding full-time work.
    • At any time after the divorce, both parties agree that alimony payments are no longer necessary and voluntarily stop sending payments.

    How Long Do Alimony Payments Last In Florida

    Are you getting a divorce in Florida? The court may order you or your spouse to pay alimony. Courts often order alimony if one spouse will be unable to support themselves after a divorce.

    You may wonder how long alimony payments last. The answer: it depends. Courts account for a number of factors when deciding the length of alimony payments.

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    Show Your Spouses Earning Potential For An Alimony Case

    Weve discussed that the more your Spouse makes the less youll have to contribute to her need.

    But what if she is not working at all. What is she is just hanging out playing on facebook. What if she hasnt worked in years.

    You can still argue to the Judge that your Wife should be working and that the Judge should impute a certain income number to your wife.

    Even though she is not working she could and should be. The Judge can account for this in his ruling.

    To do this in Florida youll want to hire a vocational evaluator expert.

    A vocational evaluator is an expert witness.

    The vocational evaluator will interview your spouse. Review your spouses medical records. And make a determination as to whether you spouse is able to work.

    Then, the evaluator will do market research on the labor market nearby. The evaluator will act almost as a job-finder for your spouse.

    All of this information can be then presented to the Judge to empower the Judge to impute a reasonable wage.

    Of course, you can move forward and present this to the Judge without an expert. But with so much on the line it is almost always advisable to lean on an expert to aid your case.

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