When a divorce decree is finalized by the courts, this also establishes the spousal support to be paid by one party to the other. At the time these guidelines are established they are based upon existing circumstances. As time passes, conditions change and these spousal support arrangements can often demand changes to bring them into line. Just as a modification to a child support plan or to a child custody agreement requires court approval so do any changes to spousal support.
One party cannot simply decide to change a plan based upon new factors, the courts must be petitioned and correct legal procedures must be followed. Not doing so will put that party in breach of a legally enforceable agreement and can create serious problems. It is critical that the legal experience of a Fort Myers divorce lawyer is employed to get the job done of modifying spousal support.
Why Spousal Support May Need Modified
In assisting clients with a petition for support modifications, we at Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys at Law, have found that there are fundamentally three basic reasons why these petitions are sought:
- The existence of a supportive relationship - quite often individuals will seek to avoid remarrying or the "legalization of a relationship" based upon the motivation of continuing to receive alimony support. In Florida there have been substantial changes in the law that takes this into consideration. If a supportive relationship exists and the nature of this can be shown to support the termination or reduction of spousal support then this can be pursued in the courts.
- Ability and/or need to pay - there can be significant changes in the ability to pay as well as a change in the financial needs of the recipient. Both of these circumstances can support a modification of alimony payments.
- Retirement - there are circumstances under which retirement of an individual can justify the modification of alimony.
Florida law gives discretionary power to the family court judges to establish alimony support based upon a number of factors. These obviously can and do change over time. A spouse remarries, new jobs or income sources develop or even the death of a former spouse can dictate the need to petition the court for modifications to an existing alimony order.
When faced with the need to make such changes it is important that you contact a Fort Myers Spousal Support Attorney with a strong background in family law.
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