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How can someone get “lump sum” alimony?

Posted by attorney Dustin Butler

There are several different types of alimony within Florida Law. Often “lump sum" alimony is considered to be a type of alimony; however, it is not a separate type of alimony but rather a way of accomplishing payment of permanent or rehabilitative alimony.

The Court must find a “proof of special circumstance, where other forms of alimony are not available or appropriate." Greene v. Greene, 895 So. 2d 503, 512 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005). One reason why the Courts disfavor lump sum alimony is because the right vests immediately making it non-modifiable. Permanent alimony, for example, is modifiable based on change of circumstance including the remarriage of the recipient spouse.

In one recent case out of the Fourth District Court of Appeal the trial Court had awarded the Husband’s interest in the marital home to the Wife as lump sum alimony despite her remarriage. The Appellate Court found that the Wife’s right to permanent alimony terminated upon her remarriage making the award of lump sum alimony an abuse of discretion.

See, Taylor v. Taylor, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D891 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013).

Dustin Michael Butler is an Attorney with Martin Law Firm, P.L., whose practice focuses in Family Law and Civil Litigation. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Florida and the Federal Court for the Middle District of Florida. He primarily practices in Lee County Florida in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Florida.

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