On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
There are various reasons a Florida family court may order one spouse to pay alimony to the other when spouses divorce one another. Often, the higher-earning spouse is ordered to pay alimony if the other spouse was financially dependent on them. In these circumstances, the alimony a lower-earning spouse receives is often meant to ensure they can meet their needs until they get a job, get remarried, or otherwise become financially able to address their needs independently.
The spouse receiving alimony in this scenario has a responsibility to proactively seek ways to improve their financial situation so they are not reliant on alimony forever. This may involve looking for a job, getting an education to boost their employability, etc.
However, sometimes a person receiving alimony fails to take these steps. There are various ways you may respond if you believe your ex-spouse isn’t doing their part to become financially independent. Options to consider include:
Discuss Your Concerns
You may not need to take any form of legal action right away if you believe your spouse isn’t doing enough to find work or otherwise improve their financial situation. If you’re able to communicate with them in a healthy manner, you could simply start by discussing your concerns with them directly.
Maybe they don’t realize they haven’t done enough to ensure they won’t continue to rely on alimony in the future. Perhaps they don’t understand the degree to which their failure to be proactive has caused you to face significant financial burdens. Or, maybe there are other non-monetary ways you can support them so that it will be easier for them to pursue job opportunities.
Before complicating what might already be a delicate situation, there’s certainly no harm in attempting to talk about the issue civilly. Just make sure you don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of.
Take notes after all conversations you have with your ex regarding this topic. Keep copies of emails, text messages, and any other relevant correspondence.
You may not be able to resolve the matter by talking through it with your ex. Thus, it’s important to preserve documentation indicating your ex is not properly working towards financial independence.
Speak With a Florida Family Law Attorney
You may have grounds to take legal action if you’re stuck paying alimony to an ex-spouse who is apparently unwilling to make a genuine attempt to boost their earning capacity. Legal options may include modifying an existing alimony agreement, requesting a vocational evaluation to assess your ex’s ability to work and earn their own income, and more.
The legal options potentially available to you will vary depending on the specific details of the circumstances. As such, you should meet with a Florida alimony lawyer to discuss potential strategies in greater detail.
At the Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, a Fort Lauderdale family lawyer will gladly answer any questions you may have, and will also provide legal representation if it appears you are justified in taking legal action. Learn more by contacting the office online or calling us at 954-533-2756.