Non-Modifiable Alimony Law and Legal Definition

Generally alimony can be awarded in two ways: periodic or in gross. Alimony that is awarded in gross is generally part of a property settlement agreement and is considered non-modifiable alimony. Non-modifiable alimony is a definite lump sum that can be paid in installments. It is also called alimony in gross or lump-sum alimony.

Addressing the concept of non-modifiable alimony, the Fourth District Court of Appeals (Florida) explained the predicates required for lump sum alimony as support and stated that if support is needed, there must exist unusual circumstances which would require a non-modifiable award of support. These findings of special circumstances must be something above and beyond the justifications for an award of permanent periodic alimony. Because lump sum alimony establishes a fixed, specific monetary obligation, this tool causes lump sum alimony to have at least two major substantive differences from periodic alimony; the amount awarded is immediately vested and non-modifiable, and this form of alimony does not terminate upon the death of the payor or the remarriage of the payee. Therefore, while it is true that under special circumstances lump sum alimony as support can be awarded, there is no corresponding provision in the law for an award of non-modifiable permanent periodic alimony. Nethery v. Nethery, 951 So. 2d 976 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007)