In a December 2018 opinion, a Florida appeals court upheld a trial court’s denial of the former husband’s request to terminate his permanent alimony obligation after his ex-wife remarried. Normally, permanent alimony terminates upon the remarriage or death of the receiving spouse per Florida Statute 61.08. Unfortunately for this poor guy, his settlement agreement stated that the alimony “payments shall… continue for the remainder of the Plaintiff’s life.” In the divorce biz, settlement agreements are contracts which may operate to modify and prevail over statutory law. And, like any other contract, the courts can’t change the terms of a divorce agreement to rescue a spouse from a bad bargain. I don’t know if this provision was the result of negotiations or simply poor draftsmanship, but I’d never let my client agree to it.
This is just one of legions of examples as to why you should hire a qualified and experienced divorce attorney. When it comes to family law, you really do get what you pay for. I’m board certified in marital and family law, and I’ve been helping divorcing spouses in Volusia and Flagler counties for over 35 years. If you need assistance with your divorce or modification of an alimony obligation, you can reach me at 386-257-1222 or PaulRice@RiceLawFlorida.com.