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Does a raise in income mean higher alimony payments?

Many former spouses are ordered to pay alimony on a monthly basis. Alimony in Florida is a certain amount of money paid out to ex-spouses following a divorce.  Sometimes, spousal support is increased for certain reasons. In one case, a man's income increased, and the ex-wife filed for modification.

Since the man and his ex-wife divorced years ago, he began paying $200,000 a year in alimony. At the time, his annual income was $650,000 per year, but since then, his income increased to $3 million per year. His wife found out about this change and decided to file for an alimony increase since his earnings became higher. He is wondering if his higher earnings will affect the amount he must pay monthly. According to an expert, he would not be forced to pay more in alimony for multiple reasons.

One of the reasons is that there is apparently no negative change in the woman's financial situation. Secondly, the ex-wife was able to sustain herself on the current spousal support for many years. Thirdly, his increased earnings are not at her expense. The ex-wife would not be entitled to receive a higher portion just because her ex-husband's income increased.

Judges award alimony when there is a need for one spouse to support the former spouse. If the lower-earning spouse is still able to withstand their lifestyle off the current support payment, then judges usually will not award in an increase. Furthermore, laws in most areas have a cut-off point or some other limitation. Spouses who are paying alimony may want to speak with an experienced divorce attorney in Florida who will answer any questions they may have.

Source: bostonherald.com, "Income increase doesn't affect alimony", Gerald Nissenbaum, Jan. 4, 2015

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