Can I Request Alimony After Divorce Proceedings Are Done?

Divorce proceedings can sometimes feel like they are going both too fast and too slow at the same time. There is a lot at play and a lot of important decisions being made. After the divorce is final, you may feel like you are playing catch up. There are some things that are decided during divorce that you may be able to modify later on. Other things, however, will be final. Is alimony one of those things that is final? Can you request alimony after divorce proceedings are done? We will talk more about that here.

Can I Request Alimony After Divorce Proceedings Are Done?

To be clear, if there is no alimony ordered at the time of the divorce, then you cannot seek alimony after the fact. There is no loophole or workaround for this. If your divorce case closes without an alimony award in it, then you will never be awarded alimony. In certain instances, however, such as if a spouse may lack the ability to pay alimony at the time of the divorce but his or her circumstances may change in the future, the court may incorporate an award of nominal alimony in the divorce decree.

Only a few states recognize nominal alimony and Florida is one of them. A form of alimony that differs from other alimony types such as rehabilitative, durational, or permanent, nominal alimony is only awarded as a kind of placeholder. It preserves the receiving party’s ability to later seek a modification of the nominal alimony award for a more substantial payment amount. The amount awarded for nominal alimony could be as little as $1 per month.

A court will award nominal alimony most often in cases where there is a strong claim for alimony, but the other party lacks the means to make the payments. If the court feels as though the payor spouse’s circumstances will change in the future and that the future change of circumstances would justify alimony for the receiving spouse, then the court can put a nominal alimony award in place. Without evidence that the payor spouse’s financial circumstances are likely to change in the near future, the court may forgo nominal alimony and order a more traditional form of alimony instead. Factors such as the length of the marriage will play a central role in such a determination.

To seek a modification of a nominal alimony award or an award of another type of alimony, in Florida you must be able to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Without proof of such a change, you will not be able to seek a modification of alimony. The change in circumstances must be material as well as involuntary and permanent. A substantial change in circumstance may relate to health issues, long-term employment issues, and other issues relating to the financial wellbeing of either spouse. 

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Do you have questions about alimony? It is an important issue that can greatly impact the financial well-being of a person after a divorce. Talk to the knowledgeable team at Orlando Family Team. 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.