Alimony Modifications & The Hoff

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Modifications on Thursday, May 26, 2016.

Divorce is not the end of the case. After divorce there are disagreements over custody and alimony modification that even David Hasselhoff can’t run away from.

Actor David Hasselhoff is asking a court to modify his alimony order that requires him to pay $21,000 a month in alimony to his ex-wife.

In 2006, Hasselhoff divorced actress Pamela Bach, his wife of 16 years. The couple has two daughters, whose support is above and beyond the monthly alimony payments.

He recently filed a modification request, asking the judge to do away with the required payments, or at least order a substantial reduction. He claims his former wife has done almost nothing to pursue employment since their divorce.

The Hoff also argues that he is now 63 years old, and wants to start making plans for his retirement. He worries that he will not be able to stop working if he is forced to continue paying alimony to his former spouse.

Retirement of a spouse is one of the many reasons people ask courts to modify their alimony obligations. I’ve written about the recent attempt to change the alimony laws to address this issue.

Under the proposed alimony bill, which was recently vetoed by the Governor, retirement would be a substantial change in circumstance if the payor reached the age for eligibility to receive full retirement benefits, or the customary retirement age for his or her occupation and has retired from that occupation; or retires early and the court determines that the retirement is reasonable based upon the obligor’s age, health, motivation for retirement, and impact on the obligee.

In Florida, in order to modify alimony, the obligor must show three fundamental prerequisites: a substantial change in circumstances, the change was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment of dissolution, and that the change is sufficient, material, involuntary and permanent in nature.

The Supreme Court of Florida has addressed the impact of retirement on support obligations in Florida. To determine whether a voluntary retirement is reasonable, courts must consider, in part, the payor’s age, health, and motivation for retirement, as well as the type of work the payor performs and the age at which others engaged in that line of work normally retire. There are additional criteria a court must consider as well.

The People magazine article on David Hasselhoff is here.