What You Should Know About Sarasota County and Manatee County Alimony Modification
Divorce is a difficult thing for anyone to contend with. Ending your marriage caused you a great deal of emotional and mental strain and anguish. The divorce settlement included a mandate that you pay alimony to your former spouse. If you were married to her for a long time and your ex-spouse enjoyed a certain standard of living, it is understandable that you are required to make such alimony payments. However, you need not pay the same amount in alimony for forever if your financial circumstances change for the worse and/or your former spouse’s financial circumstances change for the better over time. In most cases, alimony is intended to support the lesser earning spouse during the divorce and also after the divorce for a set period of time– unless it is a long-term marriage (which is over 17 years in length). However, alimony in Florida currently is meant to support her until she can become financially independent and self-sustaining—again, unless it is a long-term marriage.
If you have good reason to believe that your ex-wife has reached the point of, then you should seek a modification of your alimony payments. You can start this process by hiring one of the best divorce attorneys that you can find in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida such as Matthew Z. Martell. Sarasota divorce lawyer Matthew Z. Martell, Esq. can help you navigate the complex requirements for the modification of your alimony payments.
You May be Able to Modify Your Alimony Payments
It is possible for you to modify the amount of alimony you must pay and, on very rare occasions, even the duration of your alimony payments. Florida law allows alimony payments to be modified or terminated when there has been an unexpected, involuntary, and substantial change in circumstances that affects either spouse. You can request a modification of alimony if events have impacted your ability to pay and/or they have reduced your ex-wife’s need to receive that money.
To prove that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, you must show that the change is permanent, involuntary, and material. If, for example, you lost your job; you got a new job with much less pay; your ex-spouse got a job that pays much more than enough to meet her living expenses; your ex-spouse gets re-married; your ex-spouse came into a substantial inheritance; or your ex-spouse wins the lottery, then you have grounds to press the case for alimony modification. Please note that in the case of re-marriage of the ex-spouse receiving alimony, you have strong legal grounds to request alimony termination.
You can make the argument if there has been a significant shift in your financial living conditions on your own side for a request for alimony modification. If you can show the court that you now have an involuntary long-term decreased ability to pay, then it is possible to get alimony modification relief. However, you should keep in mind the difficulty of making this type of case. Suffering a terrible injury, illness, or disability that has put you out of work are good examples of a compelling reason the Court will consider in granting your request for alimony modification. Voluntarily quitting your executive job to work at McDonald’s as a fry cook is not.
Please be advised that the court will not recognize any of the following reasons as a substantial change in circumstances warranting an alimony modification:
- Expenses of a second marriage
- Cost of living increases
- Voluntarily quitting your job
- Purposely getting fired from your job.
Protect Yourself by Getting to the Truth
You are within your rights to know what is going on in the financial life of an ex-spouse that you pay alimony to. If you suspect that your former spouse has come into some substantial money and is trying to shield this fact from the court, then you should hire a highly- rated, experienced, and well qualified family law attorney near you in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida like Attorney Matthew Z. Martell. Divorce attorneys in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice, Florida know how to deal with these type of situations. One of the first your alimony modification lawyer will do is recommend is hiring a private investigator to gather facts and evidence concerning your ex-spouses current financial situation.
It may be necessary for your private investigator to interview your ex-spouse’s neighbors, work colleagues, friends, and family members to get a sense of how much money she has or the current amount of money she makes through work. It may also then be necessary to get a subpoena records or get a court order to review her employment pay records and bank deposit statements to determine whether your suspicions about her finances are true.
If your ex-wife has remarried and not told you about it, then your lawyer needs to make this fact known to the court so you can get your alimony terminated. In conclusion, if you think it fair and necessary to request a modification of your alimony payments, then you should speak to Sarasota divorce lawyers in at the Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell. We offer a 30- minute free initial phone consultation to discuss your proposed alimony modification. We are here to help you!