A recent case in the UK has highlighted the complexity of requests for modification of judgment in alimony, that could have relevance to high asset divorces here in the United States.
Fifteen years after their divorce, an ex-husband has been ordered to increase the monthly payments he makes to his ex-wife after she made a series of “poor financial decisions”.
The couple were married for 13 years before filing for divorce in 2002. At the time the ex-wife received a lump sum of £230,000 (nearly $300,000USD) and a monthly alimony payment of £1,100 (approximately $1,400USD).
The ex-wife chose to invest in “upmarket” London properties in an attempt to climb up the housing ladder. Unfortunately her investments did not go as planned and she fell heavily into debt.
Appeals Court Orders Modification of Judgment
An appeals court ordered that the ex-husband must support his ex-wife for life as she is unable to meet her basic needs. The alimony payment has now been increased to £1,441 (approximately $1,800USD) per month.
The ex-husband argued that he should not have to be the insurer against the poor financial decisions of his ex-wife and that he should not be forced to “pick up the tab” 15 years after their divorce. His attorney added that the time to terminate the ex-wife’s financial dependency on his client was “long overdue”.
Alimony Modification in Florida
Alimony is intended to assist the lower income earner in a divorce for a certain period of time. In Florida, there are five different types of alimony, each of which can be modified:
- Temporary alimony (also known as “pedente lite”): This is granted while a divorce is pending and when one spouse needs financial support
- Bridge-The-Gap alimony: Short term alimony intended to help the receiving spouse meet short term needs (i.e. living expenses, vocational training, etc.)
- Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony is designed to help the recipient pay for training or the education necessary for gainful employment
- Durational alimony: The maximum duration of this alimony is the length of the marriage
- Permanent alimony: This is designed to support the financial needs of the recipient who does not have the ability to be self-supporting
All types of alimony may be modified on a variety of grounds, including changes in income, changes in marital status, retirement, illness, and responsibilities for minor children.
Contact a Family Law Attorney in Pinellas County
Attorney Gary Williams is a Board Certified Expert in Marital and Family Law in Pinellas County including New Port Richey, Palm Harbor and East Lake. If you are seeking to modify an existing judgment on alimony, child support, child visitation or another court order, we can help.
Contact us today to arrange for your free initial consultation to learn about how you can obtain a modification at (727) 531-8737.