When you got divorced, and the judge ordered you to pay alimony, the order was based on your circumstances and finances at that time. However, we all know that financial situations can change quickly and significantly, and many people in the Brandon area experienced this in 2020. Whether you lost a job, were furloughed without pay, needed to stay home due to loss of childcare, or suffered an illness, a change in your finances can make it very difficult to keep up with your alimony payments.
So, how difficult is it to update alimony payments in Florida? The law sets out guidelines for alimony orders, as well as alimony modifications. If you would like to discuss your options in your specific situation, contact our Brandon alimony attorneys directly today.
Requirements to Update Alimony
The first thing to know is that updating alimony requires a new court order. Unemployment or another financial crisis is not justification for you to simply stop making your payments. If you do, your ex-spouse might be able to enforce the alimony order, and you might face penalties for violating the order.
Instead, you should speak with an alimony lawyer who can help you explore your options. Often, you might start by discussing the matter with your spouse (or their attorney, if they have one) to see if they would agree to update the alimony amount or terminate alimony altogether. If your spouse is in a stable financial situation, they might be agreeable to this, and you can submit your agreement to the court for approval.
However, in many cases, alimony recipients are not willing to voluntarily give up spousal support. In this situation, you must file a petition with the court that issued the order to request a modification of payments. You can request a change in the amount of your payments, duration of payments, or both.
In order for the court to approve a modification, you must demonstrate that you have experienced a substantial change in circumstances. This can include long-term unemployment, medical issues, retirement, and more. If the judge finds there was a substantial change, they can update your alimony based on your new financial picture, which might even mean terminating the alimony order altogether.
Recipients Can Update Alimony, Too
If you are receiving alimony and learn that your ex-spouse has a new higher-paying job, received a large inheritance, remarried and now has a dual-income household, or had their financial picture otherwise improve, you can also request a modification of alimony based on their positive change of circumstances.
Consult with an Experienced Alimony Lawyer in Brandon, Florida
In 2020, many households can use a financial break. Whether you are paying or receiving alimony, adjusting the amount or duration could be just the relief you need. Our Brandon alimony attorneys at Carman & Bevington, P.A., are here to help, so please call 813-305-0213 or contact us online to set up a consultation and evaluate your options today.