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What Can Stop Alimony?

what can stop alimonyAlimony, or spousal support, is often a contentious issue in divorce proceedings. In Florida, several factors can lead to the modification or termination of alimony payments. Understanding these factors can help you navigate your financial future post-divorce.

What do you need to know about alimony?

Recent Changes in Florida Alimony Law

Florida recently eliminated permanent alimony. This significant change means that spouses can no longer receive lifelong financial support from their ex-spouses. Instead, the focus is on other types of alimony that have specific durations and conditions.

Remarriage of the Recipient

One of the most common reasons for alimony termination is the remarriage of the recipient. When the spouse receiving alimony gets married again, their need for financial support from their ex-spouse typically ends. The paying spouse can petition the court to stop alimony payments upon the recipient’s remarriage.

Cohabitation

Cohabitation can also lead to the termination of alimony. If the recipient lives with a new partner in a supportive relationship, it can be grounds for modifying or ending alimony. The court will look at factors including the length of the cohabitation and the financial support between the partners. Proving cohabitation requires substantial evidence, so it’s essential to document the relationship thoroughly.

Retirement of the Paying Spouse

Retirement can impact alimony payments. When the paying spouse retires, their income usually decreases, which can justify a reduction or termination of alimony.

The court will consider the circumstances of the retirement, including the age, health, and financial situation of the paying spouse. Early retirement might not automatically lead to a change in alimony, especially if it appears to be an attempt to avoid payments.

Significant Changes in Financial Circumstances

A substantial change in either spouse’s financial situation can lead to a modification of alimony. This can include job loss, significant salary reduction, or unexpected financial windfalls. The change must be involuntary and substantial enough to affect the ability to pay or the need for support. Either party can petition the court to modify alimony based on these changes.

Duration of the Alimony Award

In some cases, alimony was set for a specific duration.

For example, rehabilitative alimony lasts only as long as necessary for the recipient to gain skills or education to become self-supporting. Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist with short-term needs and cannot exceed two years. Durational alimony, another common form, provides support for a set period, usually related to the length of the marriage. Once the specified duration ends, the alimony payments cease automatically.

Death of Either Spouse

The death of either the paying or receiving spouse will terminate alimony payments. This is straightforward, as the obligation to provide or receive support ends with the death of either party.

Speak to an Attorney about Alimony Laws

If you are in Florida and dealing with alimony issues, consulting a divorce attorney can provide you with the guidance you need. A skilled attorney can help you navigate these changes and protect your financial interests. Contact a local divorce attorney to discuss your situation and explore your options.

For more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation, contact the Geller Law Firm at (813) 405-1509.

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