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Questions about Permanent Alimony Laws

Alimony laws vary from state to state. In some states the judge only allows permanent alimony if both spouses agree to it in a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement. In other states, permanent alimony is only granted under very limited guidelines. In these states, a court is allowed to grant alimony only if these requirements have been met. These differences in laws and ignorance of your rights can lead to many legal questions. Read below where Family Lawyers on JustAnswer have provided many answers to questions regarding permanent alimony.

In Florida, does the law state that permanent alimony ends when the one receiving it remarries?

According to the Florida law 61.08 Alimony will come to an end if: “Permanent alimony may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following dissolution of marriage. Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long duration, following a marriage of moderate duration if such an award is appropriate upon consideration of the factors set forth in subsection (2), or following a marriage of short duration if there are exceptional circumstances. An award of permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. An award may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances or upon the existence of supportive relationship in accordance with s. 61.14”

Does the spouse receiving the permanent alimony has to notify the person paying the alimony of remarriage?

There is no specific law that states one must notify the paying party. Many times in the divorce decree it will be noted that the party must notify of a new marriage. If the paying party finds out of a new marriage or supportive relationship, then they will need to file a motion to vacate the alimony. This can be filed with the court where the divorce is being processed.

Can permanent alimony be modified?

In many cases alimony can be modified unless there was an agreement between both parties. If it was court ordered, then the court can modify the permanent alimony based on changes such as illness, loss of job or retirement. It usually depends on the circumstances of each of the parties involved. Just because it is called permanent alimony, it doesn’t always have to be perpetual, and can always be modified. When dealing with a modification of alimony many requirements must first be met. If you are not sure if your situation merits a change in permanent alimony, you can ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer for Expert opinion based on the details of your individual case.

If agreed in a separation agreement, can someone terminate the permanent spousal agreement?

One cannot just modify an agreement. You would need to request to modify the order granting alimony. An alimony that is granted can be modified, terminated, or suspended when showing a change in either party’s income. If both the parties are in agreement to change the alimony then the request should be filed as an agreed motion to modify and it will be less likely that the request will be denied, since both parties have agreed to it.

Can a spouse have alimony dropped due to retirement, even though the other spouse’s income is much lower? Will they be able to collect their former spouse’s social security check?

You cannot usually terminate a permanent alimony because of retirement. If a person is no longer able to make the payments, they will be allowed to request that the payments be reduced. This is because there are two major considerations in granting alimony – 1. The need of on receiving party and 2. The ability of the other party to pay. The court will usually take both these into consideration and decide whether the alimony should be modified or not. As for receiving the social security check after retirement, if the couple was married for at least ten years before the divorce was finalized, then they would be entitled to collect on the social security benefits.

When any type of alimony is granted, be it is temporary alimony or permanent alimony, there are many laws and rights that follow court orders. In many cases permanent alimony can be modified based on circumstances. Experts on JustAnswer have many years of experience in Family Law, and can provide insight to the laws for each state, as well as the rights and requirements for a person in order to receive, modify or terminate a court-ordered permanent alimony. Just ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer to provide legal insights based on the details of your case.
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