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Decreasing Alimony

West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney

Unlike child support, the amount of alimony is not determined by a guideline or a form. Child support is pretty much set in stone in every case and alimony is determined on its own merit’s. Permanent alimony and was upon the death of either spouse. It also ends if the wife remarries. Automatic adjustments in alimony awards i.e. based upon the growth of the CPI are not allowed by the courts. In general, courts do not like automatic adjustments. Except for property rights, nothing is ever final in a final judgment of dissolution of marriage. However, a court can only modify a judgment if there is a substantial change in circumstances. The law offices of West Palm Beach divorce attorney Jessica Mishali has represented clients seeking and defending against modifications of alimony for four decades.


By its nature, a periodic alimony award is never final. It is always subject to change when there is a substantial change in circumstances of either party that affects the need of a party for the money and the ability to pay alimony of the payer spouse. In order to decrease alimony it is necessary to file a petition for modification of the final judgment of dissolution of marriage or the last order that ordered alimony. The substantial change of circumstances must be of a permanent or indefinite nature and must not have been contemplated at the time the final judgment was entered.


There are five types of alimony: permanent-periodic, rehabilitative, bridge the gap, durational and lump sum. The concept of durational alimony was recently added by the legislature. It is based upon the length of the marriage and that is also subject to modification. Lump sum alimony is actually a property division and is therefore not subject to modification. Although bridge the gap alimony can be modified, Israeli, if ever, modified. It is usually of very short duration, less than two years.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded in the moderate term marriage. Its purpose is to assist a party in establishing the capacity for self-support through either (1) the redevelopment of previous skills or credentials; or (2) the acquisition of education, training or work experience necessary to develop appropriate employment skills or credentials. In order to award rehabilitative alimony, there must be a specific defined rehabilitative plan which shall be included as part of any water awarding rehabilitative alimony. Like other alimony, rehabilitative alimony may be a modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in some senses, upon noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan or upon completion of the rehabilitative plan.

The law offices of West Palm Beach divorce attorney, Jessica Mishali is highly skilled and professional in representing clients seeking a decrease in alimony, or in defending such attempts.

Decrease in Rehabilitative Alimony

You can obtain a decrease in rehabilitative alimony if you lose your job for reasons beyond your control. Usually, the job loss has to be for a longer time and not just temporary. Also, if the wife’s need decreases because she obtains a grant or scholarship, or if she remarries and the new husband can cover her expenses, you can obtain a decrease in rehabilitative alimony. It is also possible to obtain early termination if the wife has accepted a well-paid job or comes into a windfall.

Decrease in Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is usually awarded in a long-term marriage. The rules for permanent alimony are not very different from those that apply to rehabilitative alimony. However, because it is alimony of the long-term nature the court takes a longer-range of changes. In order to obtain a decrease in permanent alimony you must show either a decrease in need rate decreased ability to pay. A decreased ability to pay can be shown by:

  • The payer spouse losing their job unexpectedly
  • the payer spouse becomes ill or unable to work for an indefinite period of time
  • the payer spouse retires
  • the recipient spouse experiences a substantial increase in income
  • recipient spouse begins cohabiting with someone else and is in a supportive relationship

Permanent alimony is, of course, eliminated by the death of either party.

Contact a West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney

The law offices of West Palm Beach divorce attorney, Jessica Mishali offers a confidential conference. Please call us at (561) 833-2772 or contact us online.

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Jessica is so great at what she does. She is very dedicated and efficient. I don't know what I would've done with her. I highly recommend her for any service needed.


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