Alimony Modification – Change in Circumstance from When?

In order to request an alimony modification, the person requesting the change has to show the following:

  1. There has been a substantial change in circumstance
  2. The change was not contemplated; and
  3. The change is sufficient, material, permanent, and involuntary.

Many divorcing couples resolve their divorce by entering into a Martial Settlement Agreement.  The Agreement is then approved by the court as a Final Judgment.

What happens when the “substantial change in circumstance” occurs after the Agreement is signed, but before the Final Judgment is entered?  For example, what happens if the spouse paying alimony, becomes disabled and has a reduction of income, after the Martial Settlement Agreement is signed, but before the Final Judgment is entered?

The Florida Second District Court of Appeals recently faced this issue, and ruled that the date to measure is from the date of the Martial Settlement Agreement, and not from the date of the Final Judgment.  Dogoda v. Dogoda, 2D16-4447 (Fla. 2d DCA  December 6, 2017)



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