How Easy is it to Modify Alimony Payments in Florida?
In the past few months, millions of people in Florida have had their jobs put on hold or terminated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. Even as people return to work, some businesses might fail or cut workforces, resulting in unemployment and serious financial problems for many households. Every expense can put more pressure on your ability to keep up with your bills.
In this situation, the last thing you want to be doing might be providing financial support for an ex-spouse. On the other hand, spouses receiving support might depend on those funds more than ever. People in both situations might wonder – how easy is it to modify alimony payments in Florida?
Losing your job is not justification for stopping alimony payments unless you have express permission from the court. If you simply cease your payments, the recipient can seek enforcement from the family court that issued the order. The proper action to take is to petition the court to modify your alimony payments.
Alimony is not only based on one ex-spouse’s need for support, but also on the other ex-spouse’s ability to pay. In order to have your payments modified, you must demonstrate that circumstances beyond your control have impacted your ability to pay as ordered. Such circumstances might include:
- Loss of a job
- Reduction of hours or shifts
- Having a job be put on hold
- Closing your own business temporarily or permanently
- Not being able to work due to illness
- Not being able to work due to lack of childcare
If you are experiencing any of these situations that leave you with less income than before, the judge has different options. They might reduce your payments, suspend your payments, or terminate the alimony order completely. The modification might be temporary, or it might be permanent. But in any case, a modification can significantly help in difficult financial situations. So, how quickly can you obtain a modification?
There is no specific timeline for alimony modification rulings in Florida right now. Courts are operating remotely, so they can often move cases through the system faster than if the courtroom is full of people each day. However, family courts are likely seeing an influx of modification requests – for spousal support as well as child support or custody – so they have many cases to hear. It is best to seek help from an attorney who can file a modification petition for you right away, so you can get a decision and financial relief as soon as possible.
The Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A., helps people receiving alimony and paying alimony. We can evaluate your situation and advise you of your options. We can find solutions for each individual client based on their circumstances in this uncertain time. Call 813-227-9642 or contact us online for your consultation today, so we can begin standing up for your interests.