Can You Request Alimony After Your Divorce Case Is Finalized?
Divorce can be a time-consuming and stressful process, while alimony is one of the most complicated and confusing aspects of divorce proceedings in Florida. If you did not ask for spousal support for whatever reason and your divorce has been finalized, you might wonder, “Can I request alimony after my divorce is final?”
In fact, it is not uncommon for divorced individuals to want to make changes to their divorce settlement after the divorce has been finalized. But can you actually ask for alimony after your divorce is over?
You may want to speak with an Orlando alimony attorney Rania Arwani to discuss your unique situation and determine whether or not you are still entitled to alimony after your divorce.
Can You Ask for Alimony After Your Divorce is Over?
Generally speaking, you cannot request alimony after your divorce is over. Thus, if the court did not order alimony at the time of your divorce, you cannot modify your divorce decree to ask the court for spousal support.
The only exception to this rule is if a court awarded nominal alimony in your divorce decree. Often, Florida courts award nominal alimony when one spouse lacks the ability to make alimony payments at the time of the divorce proceedings, but his/her circumstances are likely to change after the divorce is final.
What is Nominal Alimony and How Does It Work?
Only a handful of states recognize the so-called nominal alimony. Florida is one of those states. This type of alimony is not the same as other types. Basically, nominal alimony is a placeholder that may be appropriate when one spouse does not have the ability to pay alimony at the time of issuing a divorce decree.
Nominal alimony gives the receiving spouse the ability to later request a modification of the alimony award to increase the ordered amount. In many cases, Florida courts order an insignificant amount of money as nominal alimony.
An award of nominal alimony may be appropriate when one spouse has a right to receive spousal support, but the other spouse does not have the ability to pay alimony either due to their temporary unemployment or other circumstances. However, the spouse preserves the right to modify nominal alimony to increase the amount after the divorce proceedings are over and the other spouse’s circumstances change.
How to Seek Alimony After Your Divorce is Finalized
As mentioned earlier, Florida courts justify a modification of nominal alimony when there is evidence that a spouse’s circumstances have changed. It is vital to contact a skilled attorney to help you prove that your spouse’s circumstances have changed substantially and you want to increase the amount of your nominal alimony award.
Without proof of a substantial change in circumstances, you cannot request a modification of nominal or any other type of alimony in Florida. Fla. Stat. § 61.14 provides that you can ask a court to modify alimony if you have evidence of material, substantial, and permanent change in circumstances.
Speak with an attorney to determine whether or not your change in circumstances qualifies for a modification. Schedule a case review with our family lawyer at Arwani Law Firm by calling 407-254-0060.