Family Law

Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Family Law

My ex husband is saying that he will be seeking a

Customer Question
modification of alimony due to...
My ex husband is saying that he will be seeking a modification of alimony due to his desire to retire at age 56. We were married 23 years and I was awarded permanent alimony. He has been paying me for 4 years. What are the steps that he will have to take in order to file a petition? Will he be allowed to file the petition just because he wants to retire or will he first have to prove to a judge that he has a legitimate reason to retire? Thank you!
Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Family Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Answered in 18 minutes by:
5/14/2017
Family Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 9 months ago
Bill Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,747
Experience: Attorney
Verified

Dear Customer,

Thank You for posting your question to just answer today. This is attorney Bill offering legal information specific to your concerns.

There must be a significant change of circumstances for a Florida Ct to award a modification of a divorce and alimony decree. The change in financial circumstances needs to be an involuntary occurrence; so if the early retirement is not due illness then he wouldn't be entitled to a modification.

He needs to fill out a petition, affidavit and service papers on you at the clerk's office.

The statute in relation to modification states the reasons why an alimony order might be modified :

" orders.—

(1)(a) When the parties enter into an agreement for payments for, or instead of, support, maintenance, or alimony, whether in connection with a proceeding for dissolution or separate maintenance or with any voluntary property settlement, or when a party is required by court order to make any payments, and the circumstances or the financial ability of either party changes or the child who is a beneficiary of an agreement or court order as described herein reaches majority after the execution of the agreement or the rendition of the order, either party may apply to the circuit court of the circuit in which the parties, or either of them, resided at the date of the execution of the agreement or reside at the date of the application, or in which the agreement was executed or in which the order was rendered, for an order decreasing or increasing the amount of support, maintenance, or alimony, and the court has jurisdiction to make orders as equity requires, with due regard to the changed circumstances or the financial ability of the parties or the child, decreasing, increasing, or confirming the amount of separate support, maintenance, or alimony provided for in the agreement or order. A finding that medical insurance is reasonably available or the child support guidelines schedule in s. 61.30 may constitute changed circumstances. Except as otherwise provided in s. 61.30(11)(c), the court may modify an order of support, maintenance, or alimony by increasing or decreasing the support, maintenance, or alimony retroactively to the date of the filing of the action or supplemental action for modification as equity requires, giving due regard to the changed circumstances or the financial ability of the parties or the child.

(b)1. The court may reduce or terminate an award of alimony upon specific written findings by the court that since the granting of a divorce and the award of alimony a supportive relationship has existed between the obligee and a person with whom the obligee resides. On the issue of whether alimony should be reduced or terminated under this paragraph, the burden is on the obligor to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a supportive relationship exists."

If his declaration of the change of circumstances is untrue he will be in contempt of court.

Please be patient for my follow up and answer when you request additional clarification or information and REMEMBER TO RATE POSITIVELY TODAY FOR THE INFORMATION RECEIVED.

Please remember to rate positively my response before exiting.

THIS IS HOW I GET A CREDIT FOR MY TIME AND RESPONSE

SO I HOPE YOU RATE 5 STARS TODAY

Thanks

Attorney Bill

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I am aware of everything that you state above as I have read all of that online. What I need to know is how he has to go about filing with the court. Does he just go in and file and then the modification is in place as of the date that he files the petition if the judge finds in his favor? Or does he have to prove his reason for wanting to retire at age 56 prior to being able to file the petition?
Family Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

No he would file a petition first and serve this on you giving you a chance to write out your answer and response.

There would be a full hearing then on the modification.

Nothing will be modified until either you contractually agree or the court orders.

A full hearing can be dispensed with if you voluntarily agree to a modification with his attorney but you aren't .

required to do so in law and can enforce a full hearing on the matter.

I guess he is hoping that you voluntarily agree to a modification at this stage.

Best

Bill

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
But can he just file a petition because he wants to retire early? "Normal" retirement age is 65 is Florida. He is 56. So can he just go in to the clerk of the court's office and file a petition to modify based on retirement even though he is only 56, or would he have to prove that there is a reason that he would need to retire so much earlier than "normal" retirement age prior to being able to file the petition?
Family Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Yes he is entitled to file.

Under the statute a change of circumstances can justify a petition and will allow him file; that said because the retirement is voluntary it is unlikely that the court will award any modification but has discretion to order the equitable relief on a determination of the complete facts of the request.

Best

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
If his request is that he has a change in income because he is no longer able to continue to do the work that he had been doing due to health issues, what happens? He is a horseshoer. It is a very physical occupation. But most of his peers are as old, or older than he is and they are still shoeing horses. Some of his peers are in their 70s and still working. So what are the steps? He files, then I have to reply? What if I reply and say that I do not agree with his reasoning? What would he have to do in order to prove that he can no longer physically work? Would he even have to do that? Would the court request that he attempt to do something else to earn money? At one point in his career when we were still married, he had 4 people working for him and he basically just oversaw their work. At that point the business actually made more money than when it was just himself and one helper. Would the court say that he should try to do that? He left me in a terrible situation. I was a stay at home mom, he was the breadwinner. He had an affair and is still with the woman. She was also married and subsequently divorced, receiving a substantial lump sum settlement in the millions. My ex mishandled our money so badly that I was left with a house in foreclosure, no retirement, no savings, a car with 186,000 miles on it and $25,000 of marital assets. I used that to pay my lawyer's fees which totaled $65,000. I had to take out a loan to pay the rest. I started working after I filed for divorce and earn $36,000. His reported income at the time of the divorce was $155,000, although he hid income by cashing checks at a currency exchange. He will be "retiring" and living on the money that his girlfriend received from her divorce. I am 58 years old. I do not have a degree so my earning potential is very limited.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Am I going to receive a response to the above questions?
Family Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

The court considers all the facts outlined in his petition and your response and can only modify alimony in accordance with the statute I outlined.

Because the law is codified in statute that must be followed by the judge despite any other considerations;

if your financial position has in fact deteriorated you can also counterclaim for a modification.

Yes, when you answer there will be a hearing date for you to attend.

The court will either deny or make a modification and he the obligor as referred to in the statute must by a preponderance of evidence produce circumstances necessitating a modification.

SO it is up to him to produce evidence not you in the case of a modification based upon his early retirement.

The court modifies as is equitable but an early retirement so as to reduce his alimony to you would not be equitable and not entertained.

Best

Bill

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
What evidence would he have to provide to prove that he is physically incapable of continuing to work?
Family Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

He would need medical certification if he is stating ailing health.

Bill

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Would a doctor have to testify in court? Aren't medical records inadmissible and considered heresay?
Family Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Medical records are quite often used in divorce cases.

AN objection can be raised by you if you believe the testimony is preferential= and necessary.

Best

Attorney Bill

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
What does the date of the filing of the action mean? "the court may modify an order of support, maintenance, or alimony by increasing or decreasing the support, maintenance, or alimony retroactively to the date of the filing of the action or supplemental action for modification as equity requires" Does that mean the date that he files the petition or the date that the judge makes the ruling?
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Hi. Can you tell me if I can expect an answer to the above questions, and if so, when?
Family Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 9 months ago
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,603
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
Verified

Hello: This isCustomer Welcome to Justanswer! I will be further assisting you with your post.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Family Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 9 months ago

What does the date of the filing of the action mean? "the court may modify an order of support, maintenance, or alimony by increasing or decreasing the support, maintenance, or alimony retroactively to the date of the filing of the action or supplemental action for modification as equity requires" Does that mean the date that he files the petition or the date that the judge makes the ruling?

Response: The date he files the petition.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask Phillips Esq. Your Own Question
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,603
20,603 Satisfied Customers
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.

Phillips Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

11,875 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney and Counselor at Law

9,025 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

7,856 satisfied customers

I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

6,562 satisfied customers

JD, 17 years legal experience including family law

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

3,415 satisfied customers

Attorney with 17 years experience

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

3,398 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including family law.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

2,787 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Family Law Questions
How much are your fees. LA. My divorce is final. alimony
my divorce is final. alimony payments over. I need information on child support reduction/elimination as one child is graduating from HS, eliminating her child support, and the other 16 yr old has been living with me exclusively for past 6 months. he turns 17 end of june. sorry so long … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
Recently divorced, husband was ordered as part of alimony to
recently divorced, husband was ordered as part of alimony to cover wife under health care in ILL. He canceled her (she just found out) within 60 days of the divorce being finalized. Can she get a cour… read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
2,173 satisfied customers
Alimony calculation. PA. I'm not emotionally stable
Alimony calculation JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in? Customer: PA JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet? Customer: No JA: Anything else you want … read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
2,173 satisfied customers
In Florida. Divorced in 2013. Applying for alimony
In Florida. Divorced in 2013. Applying for alimony modification and my after a year and a half, my attorney withdrew. I am now pro se. My Ex is represented by an attorney I confided in in 2013, howeve… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
31,369 satisfied customers
Is what's stated in a property settlement agreement/divorce
Is what's stated in a property settlement agreement/divorce decree set in stone? We're fighting over schools for the kids. The PSA says only two years of private school then we must both agree if they… read more
jb156200
jb156200
Associate Attorney
Doctoral Degree
580 satisfied customers
I was divorced in 2016. Alimony was set up in July 2015. I
I was divorced in 2016. Alimony was set up in July 2015. I am 57 years old and have never worked outside of the home. I was married for 35 years. I don't have any education. I need to modify my alimon… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
11,042 satisfied customers
I was divorce in 2012 and judge ordered me to pay alimony of
I was divorce in 2012 and judge ordered me to pay alimony of 2000a month for 7 and a half years . This was in the state of Florida. My ex filed taxes 2012 thru 2014 claiming married jiont without my p… read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,764 satisfied customers
I currently have to pay my ex 800 a week permanent alimony.
I currently have to pay my ex 800 a week permanent alimony. I was in arrears for 58,000 which she attached my social security and she collect 61,000. During this time I also paid her the 800 weekly fr… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
Have an Alimony question. Missouri. I've been paying alimony
Have an Alimony question JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in? Customer: Missouri JA: Has anything been filed or reported? Customer: Yes I've been p… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
11,875 satisfied customers
Since we are divorcing how can I get alimony or spousal
since we are divorcing how can I get alimony or spousal support? … read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
2,173 satisfied customers
Since we are divorcing how can I get alimony or spousal
since we are divorcing how can I get alimony or spousal support? … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
31,369 satisfied customers
Getting a divorce in PA wife is asking for alimony we were
Getting a divorce in PA wife is asking for alimony we were married 7 years how much and how long is she entitled to alimony … read more
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent
Managing Partner
Doctoral Degree
2,238 satisfied customers
Issue is contemp of court in a divorce property settlement.
Issue is contemp of court in a divorce property settlement. Can the property settlement be reviewed as well? What if the settlement was created based on current or recent circumstances but in the end … read more
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent
Managing Partner
Doctoral Degree
2,238 satisfied customers
My property settlement agreement in my divorce says alimony
My property settlement agreement in my divorce says alimony is irrevocable pursuant to Lepis vs Lepis. Can my ex change the agreement or not? … read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
56,873 satisfied customers
Divorce, and wife asking for $850 in alimony in settlement
Divorce, and wife asking for $850 in alimony in settlement draft. She is working, in great mind and physical health. She makes 42k while I make 67k as a teacher. This is on top of $820 for child suppo… read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,764 satisfied customers
I will be divorced next week on the 20th with a alimony
I will be divorced next week on the 20th with a alimony agreement incorporated into the divorce decree. My spouse and I agreed of the terms of the agreement. It is to paid indefinitely because I am di… read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,764 satisfied customers
Can the court deviate from the ohio child support guidelines
Can the court deviate from the ohio child support guidelines in any child support award? In other words, can the court issue an award that does not fall within the child support guidelines...if so, un… read more
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL
Lawyer
Juris Doctorate
2,787 satisfied customers
I have a question about child support guidelines for
I have a question about child support guidelines for Missouri for children over 18. My son has been enrolled in college full time however he did not complete 1/2 his courses the first semester and the… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
31,369 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x