In Florida, alimony reform has been a hot-button issue for years. Many former spouses who were court-ordered to pay alimony argue that permanent alimony is an unfair payment system, while the people who receive the payments argue for its necessity.
What Is Permanent Alimony?
Permanent alimony is the continuous financial support one party pays to another after a divorce. Unlike other forms of alimonya court could grant permanent alimony must be paid until the death of either party.
Permanent alimony was created for spouses whose contribution to their marriages was primarily domestic. For example, a spouse who gave up their career to raise children or keep the household in order.
The primary factors in the decision to grant permanent alimony are the:
- duration of the marriage;
- established standard of living;
- age of each party;
- emotional and/or physical condition of each party;
- earning potential, education level, skill level, and employability of each party; or
- contributions of each party during the marriage (including homemaking, child-rearing, career building, and finances).
Permanent alimony is typically awarded in marriages that lasted an extended period of time (10 years or more). However, if one spouse is disabled during the course of a shorter marriage, permanent alimony could still be awarded.
Can Permanent Alimony Be Modified or Terminated?
Lives are constantly changing, and alimony that worked when it was first granted may no longer work later in life.
Permanent alimony will automatically terminate under 2 conditions:
- If either spouse dies; or
- If the receiving spouse remarries.
Sometimes the paying spouse may need to have the alimony arrangement modified.
This can happen when:
- the paying spouse retires;
- the paying spouse goes through a period of long-term unemployment;
- the paying spouse experiences an involuntary decrease in the ability to make payments;
- the receiving spouse wins the lottery or gains a substantial inheritance;
- the receiving spouse is given a gift of high value or pay raise.
Under Florida law, permanent alimony will be terminated if the receiving spouse begins to obtain an income that exceeds the income of the paying spouse.
Solving Permanent Alimony Issues
If you are looking to modify an alimony arrangement, our alimony attorney can help! Russell S. Hershkowitz can provide you with competent legal representation to pursue an alimony termination or modification.
Contact our firm online or give us a call at (407) 753-4111 for a consultation.