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Can you modify 'permanent' alimony in Florida?

Alimony payments in Florida are not as permanent as they once were. If you are making alimony payments to your ex, you may be able to stop or modify those payments based on what has happened since your divorce.

Florida law is moving away from awarding permanent alimony as a part of a divorce settlement. Florida courts are also more open to modifying permanent alimony payments if you have a good reason, such as your ex moved in with another person.

There are several different types of alimony in Florida. Here are some examples:

  • Temporary alimony while your divorce is in process
  • Rehabilitative alimony to help a spouse become self-supporting
  • Lump sum alimony, which may be negotiated as a part of marital property settlement
  • Permanent alimony, which is typically paid in long-term marriages when the recipient spouse may have difficulty supporting himself or herself due to age or disability

Exactly what constitutes a long-term marriage is a gray area of law, as are the factors judges use in determining whether to award alimony. As a rule, a marriage that lasted for 11-15 years is considered long-term.

When awarded, permanent alimony may be stopped or modified under certain circumstances, including:

  • The alimony recipient remarries
  • The alimony recipient is cohabitating with another person
  • Either the alimony recipient's or the payer's financial circumstances have changed significantly
  • Either the alimony recipient or the payer dies

The Law Firm of Chris E. Ragano P.A. in Tampa provides experienced counsel in matters such as modification of alimony.

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