Modifying Florida Alimony Agreements

For the most part, once an alimony or child support agreement has been set in Florida, there is very little room to change or terminate the agreement without first showing that there is a justification for the change or termination.

Once a party sufficiently shows a change in circumstances, however, the court will grant the modification. Moreover, under Florida Statute § 61.14, a modification order can apply retroactively. Retroactive application of alimony means that one party could be required to pay back alimony or the party receiving alimony could be required to reimburse the payor.

Attorney for Modifying Alimony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

When parties initially sign an alimony agreement, it is based on their present circumstances. As we know, life can be complicated and we may find ourselves in unexpected situations. Having an attorney who can help you modify an alimony agreement could be the start to meeting the challenges that unexpected lifestyle changes may cause.

At Bacchus & Navarro Law Group, our attorneys are experienced family lawyers who have counseled clients on creating, modifying, and terminating alimony agreements for years. We are experienced, professional, and dedicated to getting the best possible result for our clients.

Having provided counsel to numerous clients throughout the Greater Miami-metropolitan area, we take cases throughout the Miami-metropolitan area in counties like Hendry County, Palm Beach County, Collier County, and Miami-Dade County, FL.

Our office is centrally located at 401 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse. If you have been arrested in Miami, West Palm Beach, East Naples, or LaBelle, Florida, then contact our firm immediately.

Call (954) 500-5555 to schedule a no obligations consultation with our family law attorneys.


Broward County Modifying Florida Alimony Agreements Information Center


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How to Change an Alimony Agreement in Florida

Modifying an alimony award in Florida requires showing a “substantial, material, and involuntary change in circumstances.” The partying requesting the modification has the burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that either his or hers circumstances have changed or the obligee’s circumstances have changed, such that a modification would be just and equitable.

In Florida, some examples of a substantial change in circumstances may include the following:

    • deterioration of the payor’s health;
    • a substantial change in income;
    • unexpected inheritance or gift;
    • retirement; or
    • obligee cohabitation.

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Retroactive Alimony

Much like child support, alimony may also be applied retroactively –this means that the law can require the obligor to pay "back" alimony from a specified date, which could have occurred prior to the final alimony award order.

In some instances, alimony may retroactively apply to the date of the filing of the action or supplemental action for modification as fairness requires; which gives due regard to the changed circumstances or the financial ability of the parties or the needs of the child.


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Alimony Termination Based on Cohabitation

Under Florida Statute § 61.14(b), a Florida court may reduce or terminate an alimony award upon specific written findings by the court that since granting an alimony award, a supportive relationship has existed between the obligee and a person with whom the obligee resides.

The alimony payor or obligor has the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence, that a supportive relationship between the obligee and the person with whom he or she resides, exists.

A preponderance of the evidence means “more likely than not.” Therefore, the payor would have to prove that it is more likely than not that a supportive relationship between the obligee and the person with whom he or she resides, exists.

In determining whether an existing relationship between the obligee and an individual who is not related by marriage exists, a Florida court will look at the following factors:

      • the period of time that the obligee has resided with the other person in a permanent place of residence;
      • the extent to which the obligee or the other person has supported the other, in whole or in part;
      • the extent to which the obligee and the other person have pooled their assets or income in financial interdependence;
      • the extent to which the obligee or other person has performed valuable services for the other;
      • the extent to which the obligee or other person has performed valuable services for the other’s company or employer;
      • whether the obligee and the other person have jointly contributed to the purchase of any real or personal property;
      • whether the obligee and the other person have worked together to create or enhance anything of value;
      • whether the obligee and the other person have provided support to the children of one another, regardless of any legal duty to do so;
      • evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an implied agreement regarding property sharing or support; or
      • evidence in support of a claim that the obligee and the other person have an express agreement regarding property sharing or support.

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Additional Resources

61.14 F.S. – Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature for more information on enforcement and modification of support, maintenance, or alimony agreements in Florida. The Statutory language discusses the circumstances under which alimony may be terminated due to cohabitation or remarriage and modified due to a change in circumstances.

Trends in Alimony Modification – Visit the American Bar Website, Family Law Section for information on the various trends in modifying alimony agreements across the several states. The article focuses on the kinds of circumstances that judges have considered a “substantial change in circumstances” in Florida, as well as in other states.

Petition to Modify Alimony – Visit the website of the Florida Courts for Form 12.905(c) the form used for the supplemental petition for a modification of alimony in Florida. The Form includes instructions and directions for filing for a medication in Florida courts and also filing pro se.


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Find an Attorney for Modifying Alimony in Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know has experienced a substantial change in circumstances in Broward County, Hendry County, Palm Beach County, Collier County, or Miami-Dade County, FL, and requires a modification of their alimony agreement, then call Bacchus & Navarro Law Group.

The experienced family law attorneys in our office will guide you through the steps necessary to modifying or terminate your alimony agreement. Our lawyers are zealous and dedicated advocates who will fight to get you the best possible result.

We take cases in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, East Naples, and LaBelle, Florida. Call (954) 500-5555 now for more information about the legal services that we provide for clients in these cities. 

This Article Was Last Updated on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.


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