When going through a divorce and dividing one household into two, figuring out how everything will work financially can be a real challenge. For those Florida residents who qualify for alimony as part of their settlements, monetary burdens may be lifted to a degree.
Alimony is not something that is automatically awarded in every divorce case. There are specific requirements for one to receive this financial benefit. If you are to receive spousal support, it is normal to have questions about your order. The one question that will be the topic of this week's column is: Is it possible to have an alimony order modified?
First things first: Spousal support basics
What exactly is alimony and how do I know if it is something for which I am eligible? Alimony, sometimes referred to spousal support or spousal maintenance, simply is monetary support awarded as part of a divorce settlement. In order to determine eligibility, amount and
duration, the court will look at several factors, including:
- Marriage length
- Ages of both parties
- Financial need of the petitioning spouse
- Standard of living during the marriage
Are alimony orders adjustable?
The short answer to this is, yes. The law allows for the modification of alimony orders to if there are valid reasons to do so.
Why might I need or want to seek a modification?
Change is about the only thing that is constant in life. Changes in circumstances happen which can affect one's financial situation. Things such as loss of employment, inability to find gainful employment, health or other difficulties can strike at any time.
An example of a person who would possibly qualify for a support modification would be: A man who left the workforce to be a stay-at-home parent during his marriage is to receive alimony for a duration of four years. The intent of this amount of time is to give him time to get any training he needs to re-enter the workforce and become financially stable. Unfortunately, even after going to school, he finds it difficult to find a job that meets his financial needs.
In this particular case, this gentleman has the right to request an extension to the duration of his alimony. He may also be able to seek an increase, depending on his current economic situation. If you believe you may be eligible to receive a post-decree support adjustment, you can file the appropriate petition in a Florida family court. Changing alimony orders is not necessarily easy, but with help from your legal counsel it is possible to take all the necessary steps toward achieving a support order that works with your current financial position.