If you need a modification in the alimony you’re receiving, your case requires more than proof that you need more support and that your former spouse can afford to pay more in support. You need evidence that a substantial change in circumstances has taken place. That can be a key stumbling block for some litigants’ alimony modification cases because without the right kind of proof to establish this change, a judge cannot give you the modification you seek. To make sure you have the evidence required to get the support you need, be sure to put a knowledgeable South Florida family law on your side.
In seeking a modification of alimony, it may make good sense to provide the court with multiple possible changes in circumstances. Here’s an example: S.M. was a former wife from the Tampa Bay area who went to court seeking a modification of her alimony. The amount of alimony had originally been set in a “nominal alimony award” contained within the final judgment of dissolution in the couple’s case.
In S.M.’s situation, she had been receiving support from her daughter and her sister, but those two women ceased being able to continue that support. Those women’s inability to continue supporting her was a substantial change in circumstances, she argued. The ex-wife argued that there were additional changes, as well. Her insurance costs had gone up following the divorce. She possibly owed her sister certain sums for various expenses, and the ex-husband had begun negotiating with lenders on the property where the ex-wife was residing, which forced her to rent a new place to live.
In any legal action, it is important to provide the court with as many bases as possible for finding in your favor. For S.M., that meant giving the court multiple bases for finding that a substantial change in circumstances had taken place. By engaging in this strategy, even if the court concluded that one basis is not a valid substantial change, the court could still decide that another basis was, which may allow the case to go forward.
For S.M., the appeals court concluded that the loss of support from the daughter and sister were not substantial changes in circumstances, but that the other changes the ex-wife listed possibly might be substantial enough. The trial judge in S.M.’s case had denied the ex-wife’s modification request based upon a magistrate’s report, but that report only addressed the lost support from the family members. Based on that, the appeals court overturned the ruling for the ex-husband and sent the case back to the trial court to determine whether the ex-wife’s alternate bases were viable changes in circumstances, which could allow the court to consider increasing her alimony.
Whether your case focuses upon alimony, child support, equitable distribution or a different family law issue, be sure that you have the skilled legal representation you need. The diligent South Florida family law attorneys at Sandy T. Fox, P.A. have been providing clients with the effective representation they need to get positive results for many years. Contact our attorneys online or by calling (800) 596-0579 to schedule your confidential consultation.
More blog posts:
Retirement, Changes in Income and Modification of Alimony in Florida, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, Dec. 14, 2017
Modification of Alimony and Retroactive Application in Florida, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, Aug. 16, 2017