modify alimony in Florida

Under Florida divorce law, you can modify alimony in Florida if there has been a substantial, material, and unexpected change in circumstances that was not contemplated for at the time the amount of alimony was originally set. The modification can either increase, decrease, or terminate the amount of alimony. A Florida family law court will consider all relevant factors and determine whether or not to modify alimony in Florida. The judge’s determination will based the specific facts of each individual case. Therefore, if you need help to modify alimony in Florida contact a divorce law firm in Tampa for advice on your specific case.

Modify Alimony in Florida After Remarriage

Often, a party will seek to terminate or modify alimony in Florida based on the ex-spouse remarrying. If the ex-spouse has entered into a new marriage or supportive relationship that may be grounds to modify alimony. However, the  party seeking the modification will have the burden of proving the supportive relationship justifies a modification. You should have a candid conversation with your Tampa divorce lawyer to determine if you have a viable case.

Additionally, the financial information of a former spouse’s new partner may be confidential information and barred from the trial for a petition to modify alimony in Florida. The financial information of private persons is entitled to protection by Florida’s constitutional right of privacy. See Mogul v. Mogul. However, if the Tampa divorce lawyer seeking modification can prove the financial information is relevant or there is a compelling reason to compel disclosure it will be admissible in a modification case. Thus, it can be beneficial to hire a divorce law firm to advocate on your behalf.

Modify Alimony in Florida Based on the Need & Ability to Pay Test

The fundamental policy behind an award of alimony is the disparity in financial resources of the two parties. Florida family law courts look at one party’s ability to pay alimony vs the other party’s need for alimony. See Eckert v. Eckert. If an ex-spouse remarries or has become involved in a supportive relationship it may create a change in financial resources that creates a need to modify alimony in Florida. 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 financial resources that should be considered by the court are only the resources the parties have available and that are in their individual control. See Azzarelli v. Pupello.

Divorce Law Firm in Tampa

A skilled Tampa divorce attorney can make a big difference in a petition to modify alimony in Florida. If you need to modify or prevent modification of alimony in Florida contact us to speak with a divorce attorney. With our years of experience in family law litigation we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf and to stand firm for what is fair. To speak with a Tampa divorce attorney at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763. We are available to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

alimony in Florida without getting divorced

A husband or wife can file for alimony in Florida without getting divorced. Spouses have a legal duty to provide financial support to each other. Spousal support (alimony) can be required even if the couple is separated and not yet divorced. Spouses are under an obligation to provide financial support approximate to that which has been established during the marriage. See Astor v. Astor. The policy behind alimony is to alleviate the financial disparity between the two parties. When determining if alimony should be awarded, Florida family law courts look at one spouse’s ability to pay alimony vs the other spouse’s need for alimony. If alimony is awarded, the alimony payment should be an amount sufficient to support the spouse’s standard of living. For information about the amount, duration, and process for alimony in Florida without getting divorced contact a divorce attorney in Tampa.

There are many different types of alimony in Florida which vary in amount, form, and duration. If you are seeking alimony or trying to prevent paying alimony contact a divorce law firm in Tampa for help. Nobody likes paying for an attorney but in some cases it can save a lot of money in the long-run. A skilled divorce attorney in Tampa can make a big difference on whether or not alimony is awarded and if so, how much.

Filing for Alimony in Florida Without Getting Divorced

Under Florida Statute 61.09, a spouse may be required to pay alimony in Florida without getting divorced. Florida does not recognize legal separation; therefore, if a couple is separated alimony may still be required. Unlike alimony in divorce cases, alimony under this statute recognizes the continuation of the marriage and the continued right of a spouse to participate in the other spouse’s estate, as well as the possibility of a reconciliation. See Wood v. Wood.

Alimony in Florida without getting divorced is subject to the same two-part test that is applied in divorce cases. The party seeking alimony must show that their income is insufficient to fund a lifestyle comparable to the marriage. Secondly, the spouse must show that the other spouse has the financial resources to pay the requested alimony. All forms of alimony available in a divorce case will also be available when filing for alimony in Florida without getting divorced. For more information on the types of alimony that are available in Florida contact a Tampa divorce lawyer.

Alimony in Florida Without Getting Divorced When a Spouse Lives Out of State

In order to be eligible for a divorce in Florida at least one of the spouses must be a resident of Florida for the 6 months preceding the filing of the divorce petition. However, there is no residency requirement for seeking alimony under Florida Statute 61.09. See Wachsmuth v. Wachsmuth. Further, there is not even a requirement that the couple live apart before the court can order alimony. Moreover, there is no requirement that the party to pay alimony be at fault for the separation. However, if both parties have not lived in Florida as a married couple, there may be issues regarding personal jurisdiction. If the Court lacks personal jurisdiction it will not be able to compel a party to act, such as paying alimony. A divorce law firm in Tampa can help evaluate your case and advise of any potential concerns that may arise.

Tampa Divorce Law Firm

If you are seeking alimony or trying to prevent being ordered to pay alimony contact Florida Law Advisers to speak with a Tampa divorce attorney. Every divorce and alimony case is different, and our vast experience allows us to cater our services to each client’s individual situation. With years of experience in litigation, we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf and stand firm for what is fair. To speak with a Tampa divorce attorney call us today at 800 990 7763 to schedule a free consultation.

enforcement of child support

When a court order to pay spousal or child support is violated it can have devastating effects on the party expecting to receive the funds. Often, the party will depend on the funds each month to make ends meet. Fortunately, Florida family law provides many different tools for child support enforcement. If you are not receiving the child support or alimony a court awarded you contact a family law attorney for assistance. A family law firm in Tampa may be able to assist you by petitioning a court to employ one of the options for enforcement of child support or alimony listed below.

Enforcement of Child Support with Wage Garnishment

Under Florida child support law, a court is authorized to garnish wages as a method of enforcement of child support. A wage garnishment automatically deducts the funds you are entitled to receive from the payor’s paycheck. The court can require the enforcement of child support by garnishment to occur on a periodic basis and continue for as long as the court deems necessary. Further, orders for child support are not susceptible to the head of household defense to garnishments. See Waddell v. Schwarz.

Enforcement of Child Support with Suspended Driver’s License

Failure to pay child support or alimony can result in a driver’s license suspension as a means of enforcement of child support or alimony. See Florida family law 61.13016. Additionally, under Florida Statute 61.13015, the payor’s professional license can be suspended or denied as a form of enforcement of child support. However, a court can deny the license suspension petition if it would result in irreparable harm to the payor and not help accomplish the objective of collecting payment. Additionally, the court may refuse to suspend a license if the payor demonstrates a good faith effort to reach an agreement with the payee.

Enforcement of Child Support by Civil or Criminal Contempt

Failure to comply with a court order requiring payment of spousal or child support can be enforced by either a civil or criminal contempt action. However, civil contempt is used much more frequently than criminal contempt. In order to convict a person of criminal contempt, the evidence must prove the defendant has the ability to pay and the failure to pay is willful and intentional. See Bowen v. Bowen. Further, since it is a criminal action, the prosecution must be in compliance with Rule 3.840 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. If convicted of criminal contempt for failure to pay court ordered alimony the incarceration must not exceed 180 days. The incarceration is designed to encourage payment of the funds that are due, rather than retributive. Therefore, often a court will purge the contempt if a specified amount is paid by the defendant.

On the other hand, the burden for obtaining civil contempt as a means of enforcement of child support only requires proof that there is a prior court order directing the defendant to pay alimony, and the defendant has failed to pay according to the terms of the court order. However, a defendant can defeat a civil contempt action by demonstrating that due to circumstances beyond his/ her control he/ she no longer has the ability to tender the payments required by the court order. For this defense to apply, the defendant must prove the failure to pay is unintentional and due to an intervening circumstance not contemplated at the time the original order requiring support was entered.

Garnishment of Tax Returns for Enforcement of Child Support

If a party does not adhere to a court order to pay child support their federal income tax dependent exemption may be allocated to the other parent. See Florida Statute 61.30. Further, the court can order the exemption to be allocated to the payee either on a permanent or rotating basis. The dependent tax exemption can be a substantial amount of money. Therefore, in some cases this can be a significant penalty for failure to comply with a child support order.

Defenses to Enforcement of Child Support or Alimony Orders

The payor may have legal defenses which will prevent a Florida family law court from taking action on enforcement of child support. Defenses to payment include but are not limited to: laches, the child has reached the age of majority, and a present inability to pay the amount owed. There may be other defenses available, for advice on a particular case or circumstance contact a family law attorney in Tampa for advice.

Tampa Family Law Firm

A skilled family law attorney in Tampa can make a big difference in a case for enforcement of child support or alimony. If you are seeking enforcement of an alimony or child support order, or trying to prevent contempt for failure to pay contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A. to speak with a family law attorney in Tampa, Florida. The family law attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience in both advocating for and against enforcement of alimony and child support orders. With years of experience in family law litigation, we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf and to stand firm for what is fair. If you would like to speak with a divorce lawyer at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763.

Florida permanent alimony

Alimony, which is also frequently referred to as maintenance or spousal support is payment from one ex-spouse to the other. The fundamental principal guiding an award for Florida permanent alimony is the disparity in financial resources of the two parties. However, disparity in financial resources alone is not enough to justify an award for alimony. See Segall v. Segall. Instead, Florida family law courts look at one spouse’s ability to pay alimony vs the other spouse’s need for Florida permanent alimony. See Canakaris v. Canakaris.

Florida family law allows for many different types of alimony, which can vary in duration, amount, and purpose. Florida courts have a lot of discretion in awarding alimony and if so, how much. The Tampa divorce attorney in an alimony case can make a big difference on the type and amount of alimony that is awarded. Therefore, it is important that you hire a divorce law firm in Tampa that is experienced in Florida alimony litigation.

Florida Permanent Alimony in Divorce Cases

Florida permanent alimony is periodic payments of financial support paid to an ex-spouse for an indefinite duration. The purpose of Florida permanent alimony is not to divide future income, rather it is to provide for the needs and necessitates of a former spouse as they were established during the marriage. See Mallard v. Mallard. Permanent alimony is only proper when there is evidence that shows a permanent inability on the part of the ex-spouse to become self-sustaining. Further, permanent alimony is typically only awarded upon the divorce of a long-term marriage.

How Long Does a Marriage Have to Be for Florida Permanent Alimony

Florida divorce law classifies a long-term marriage as a marriage lasting longer than 17 years.  However, it may also be awarded in the divorce of a moderate-term marriage (marriages lasting 7 – 17 years) if it is proven to be appropriate by clear and convincing evidence. This is a much higher standard than the burden of proof for long-term marriages. Short-term marriages (marriages lasting less than 7 years) are also eligible for permanent alimony but the recipient must prove there are exceptional circumstances and that no other form of alimony is fair or reasonable under the circumstances. See Florida alimony law 61.08.

Duration of the marriage is an important part of any Florida divorce case involving the demand for permanent alimony; however, it is not dispositive. The duration only establishes the burden of proof for the party seeking this type of alimony. The party seeking permanent alimony will still need to prove a permanent inability to become self-sustaining. Additionally, the spouse seeking alimony must establish alimony is proper under the “need and ability to pay” test. See Guiterrez v. Guiterrez.

Test for Florida Permanent Alimony

The first part of this test is to establish there is a need for alimony. The term “need” does not mean basic living expenses such as, rent, food, and clothing. Instead, the term “need” refers to the standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. See Griffin v. Griffin. It is important to note, “need” can include many things that most of us would consider luxuries. See Firestone v. Firestone. Once the “need” is established, the spouse will then have to prove that the other spouse has the ability to pay the alimony sought.

Modification or Termination of Florida Permanent Alimony

Florida permanent alimony can be modified or terminated if there is an unanticipated, substantial, material, and involuntary change in the circumstances of either party, that was not contemplated for at the time the alimony was awarded. See Florida alimony law 61.14.  For instance, if permanent alimony was awarded it may modified or terminated upon the death, remarriage, or if the spouse receiving alimony enters into a supportive relationship. If a modification or termination of permanent alimony is sought due to a supportive relationship, the divorce attorney seeking the change has the burden of proving the supportive relationship warrants a modification. Determining whether or not the supportive relationship is grounds for an alimony modification will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.

Tampa Alimony Law Firm

A skilled divorce lawyer in Tampa can make a big impact in a divorce involving a claim for alimony. If you are contemplating filing for divorce or your spouse has already filed for divorce, call us today to speak with a divorce attorney in Tampa. The divorce attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience in both advocating for and against alimony. With years of experience in family law litigation, we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf and stand firm for what is fair. If you would like to speak with a divorce attorney at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763 to schedule a free consultation.

how to terminate alimony in Florida

Florida divorce law provides for how to terminate alimony in Florida. Under Florida divorce law §61.14, alimony payments may be modified or terminated by a Florida family law court if there is an unanticipated, substantial, material, and involuntary change in the circumstances of either party, that  was not contemplated for at the time the amount of alimony was set. The modification can either increase, decrease, or terminate the alimony paid to an ex-spouse. If you need assistance with terminating or preventing a change in alimony contact a divorce attorney in Tampa advice on your specific case.

How to Modify Alimony in Florida

If permanent alimony was awarded it may modified or terminated upon the death, remarriage, or when the ex-spouse enters into a supportive relationship. However, the most common reason a modification of alimony is an involuntary loss of income. Voluntary reductions in income by incurring debt is not valid grounds for a modification. See Cowie v. Cowie. When determining if a modification is justified, the court will consider the parties’ relative financial circumstances at the time of entry of the final judgment, compared with the parties’ relative financial circumstances when the petition for modification was filed. See Mastromonico v. Mastromonico. For more information on how to terminate alimony in Florida due to death, remarriage, or change in income contact a divorce law firm in Tampa for assistance.

How to Terminate Alimony in Florida due to Remarriage

Knowing how to terminate alimony in Florida due to remarriage or a supportive relationship can be tricky. If a modification of alimony is sought due to a supportive relationship, the party seeking the change has the burden of proving the supportive relationship warrants a modification. Determining whether or not the supportive relationship is grounds for an alimony modification will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. The court will consider many factors, such as:

  • The extent to which the party receiving the alimony and the person they are in a relationship with have acted as a married couple. For instance, are they using the same last name, living together, referring to each other as husband and wife, or otherwise conducting themselves as if they are in a permanent supportive relationship.
  • The extent to which the party receiving the alimony and the person they are in a relationship with have pooled their assets and income.
  • The extent of financial support provided to the ex-spouse by the person they are now in a relationship with.

A skilled divorce attorney will be able use these factors and other evidence to support their client’s position. Additionally, there are many other circumstances that a divorce lawyer can use as ammunition to persuade the court. If you are seeking a change in alimony or trying to prevent a change in alimony payments you should contact an experienced divorce attorney in Tampa.

Tampa Divorce Law Firm

The divorce attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience in both advocating for and against alimony modifications. Our attorneys know what factors are important to Florida family law judges and can competently advocate for our clients rights. If you would like to speak with a divorce lawyer at our firm callus today at 800 990 7763.