If I have been previously ordered to pay permanent alimony, will I be able to reduce or terminate my alimony obligation upon retirement?
If the payor spouse voluntarily retires at age 65, which is the age of retirement in Florida, Florida courts have ruled as follows:
“Even at the age of 65 or later, a payor spouse should not be permitted to unilaterally choose voluntary retirement if this choice places the receiving spouse in peril of poverty. Thus, the court should consider the needs of the receiving spouse and the impact a termination or reduction of alimony would have on him”. Suarez v. Sanchez, 43 So.3d 118 (Fla. 3d DCA 2010)
If the legal evidence shows that the receiving spouse demonstrates a further need of the payor’s support and the payor has the ability to pay some alimony a court may modify the alimony downward instead of terminate it.
To justify a modification of alimony, the payor must show:
(1) a substantial change of circumstances;
(2) that the change was not contemplated at the final judgment of dissolution of marriage; and
(3) that the change is sufficient, material, permanent and involuntary. In addition, in order to terminate permanent periodic alimony, the payor must allege and prove that he or she is no longer able to pay any amount of alimony or that the recipient of the alimony is able to support themselves through his or her own efforts and resources.
In determining whether voluntary retirement is reasonable, courts may look at the payor’s:
- Motivation for retirement; and
- Type of work the payor executes and age at which others in that line of work generally retire.
A modification or termination of alimony may be retroactive to the date of the filing of the supplemental petition, unless the payee demonstrates that it would be inequitable.
Contact us regarding modification termination alimony
If you have questions regarding a modification termination of alimony contact The Law Office of Patricia Palma, P.A. at 813-258-3211 to make an appointment to discuss your case in detail.