There are many Florida divorce cases where a spouse is awarded permanent or "lifetime" alimony. Does lifetime alimony mean the person paying must work forever in order to meet the monthly alimony obligation? Does it matter if the person paying alimony reaches retirement age and as a result their income is reduced?
To successfully persuade the Court to modify an existing alimony obligation, the requesting party must prove that there has been an unanticipated and substantial change in circumstance that merits the requested change. Although retirement is not unanticipated, prevailing Florida case law supports the notion that retirement satisfies the burden for the requesting party to have his or her day in Court to review the new financial circumstances.
There are several factors the Court will consider in determining if the alimony obligation should be modified based on the payor's retirement including but not limited the change in the payor's income, the payor's age, the payor's health, the payor's motivation for retirement, the type of work the payor performed, the age at which others engaged in that line of work normally retire, the needs of the payee (person receiving the alimony), and the impact a modification of alimony will have on the payee.
Over the past several years there have been several alimony reform proposals considered by the Florida legislature however none have passed. If Florida alimony reform does pass at some point, this will have a significant impact on alimony in Florida.
Call Phipps at (813) 600-3201 or Contact Us to schedule a free 15 minute telephone consultation to better understand your rights and to learn how legal representation may benefit you with your specific situation.