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Can You Modify Or Terminate Permanent Alimony In Florida?


Permanent alimony is financial support paid from one spouse to another after a divorce. Typically, this type of alimony is paid until the death of either spouse or the recipient’s remarriage.

In Florida, alimony can be paid in the form of periodic (monthly) payments or a lump-sum payment upon a divorce. If you were ordered to pay permanent alimony for an indefinite period of time, you might wonder, “Can I modify or terminate permanent alimony in Florida?

It is essential to discuss your particular situation with an experienced Orlando alimony lawyer in Orlando because there may be ways to terminate or modify an award of permanent alimony in Florida.

When Do Florida Courts Award Permanent Alimony?

Permanent alimony is typically only awarded upon the end of a long-term marriage that lasts 17 or more years. The purpose of permanent alimony is to ensure that the lower-earning spouse can maintain the standard of living they became accustomed to during the marriage.

However, permanent alimony is only appropriate when one spouse:

  • Is not able to become self-sustaining after the divorce; and
  • Is not able to afford the needs and necessities of life after ending the marriage.

As mentioned earlier, Florida courts typically award permanent alimony when a marriage is considered long-term and lasts at least 17 years. However, just because your marriage lasted for over 17 years does not necessarily mean that you are guaranteed to obtain permanent alimony.

Instead, courts consider a variety of factors on a case-by-case basis when awarding permanent or any other type of spousal support. A court may determine that an award of permanent alimony is appropriate based on factors outlined in Fla. Stat. § 61.08 even if the marriage did not last 17 years.

When seeking an award of permanent alimony, the spouse requesting spousal support must prove that such an award would be fair and reasonable under their particular circumstances.

Can Permanent Alimony Be Modified or Terminated?

Typically, it is difficult – and, in many cases, impossible – to change or terminate permanent alimony. However, under specific circumstances, either spouse may be able to request a modification or termination of permanent alimony in Florida.

According to Fla. Stat. § 61.14, a Florida court may modify or terminate an award of permanent alimony in the event of substantial and material changes in circumstances that could not have been anticipated when alimony was ordered.

A common reason for seeking a modification or termination of permanent alimony in Florida is the remarriage or supportive relationship of the recipient spouse. Permanent alimony payments are also automatically terminated upon the death of either spouse.

When seeking a modification or termination, it is important to prove that you have grounds to change or end permanent alimony in Florida. For this reason, it is advisable to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to discuss your particular situation to determine whether or not your circumstances warrant the desired modification or termination.

Schedule a confidential consultation with our attorneys at Donna Hung Law Group by calling 407-999-0099.