Can I Request Alimony After Divorce Proceedings Are Complete?

Even when divorce is for the best, it can make a person feel as though their whole life has turned upside down. Going from a two-person income household to two different one-person income households can also be a significant financial change for both former spouses. If a divorce was somewhat rushed and a spouse failed to really consider the financial situation he or she would be in after the divorce, or there was a substantial change in financial situations for a spouse after divorce for some other reason, that spouse may wish to revisit the alimony issue even after the divorce has been finalized. Is this, however, even possible?

Can I Request Alimony After Divorce Proceedings Are Complete?

Alimony, or spousal support, is a payment one former spouse makes to another former spouse in order to ease the notable, and often negative, impact on financial health that can come with divorce. Spouses may have built a life around a certain two-person household dynamic. For instance, one parent may have chosen to stay at home with the kids, forego professional opportunities, while the other spouse rose through the job ranks. Alimony helps to account for the two different income potential opportunities such spouses find themselves in after the divorce.

Alimony is one of the issues addressed in divorce proceedings. Sometimes, the spouses will come to their own agreement on alimony and the judge will more often than not approve the agreement and include it in the final order of divorce. Without an agreement, the court will address the issue of alimony. While the alimony issue is settled, in some sense, during divorce proceedings, it can be revisited later on. This, however, will require a spouse to show that he or she has experienced a change in circumstances that would merit revisiting the issue.

It is important to note, however, that you will not be able to seek a modification of an alimony order unless there is an alimony order in place. If you waived alimony or if the court did not award any alimony, the issue cannot and will not be revisited later on. This is why the divorce orders for some couples include even just a nominal amount of an alimony award. The nominal amount acts as a kind of placeholder. It keeps the door open on the possibility of revisiting and modifying the award after the divorce has been finalized. Both potential payor spouses and payee spouses should be aware of this possibility before agreeing to even a nominal alimony award as part of finalizing a divorce. That nominal amount can be modified later on should a spouse experience a change of circumstances that would merit such modification.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Protecting and taking steps to protect your financial future after divorce can be a critical element of the process that is overlooked far too often. Talk to the dedicated divorce attorneys at Orlando Family Team about your options. Contact us today.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.