A periodic alimony obligation cannot be retroactively modified. Branham v. Branham, S11A1896, decided January 9, 2012.

Here, the trial court denied the Husband’s petition to modify future alimony payments under the live-in lover statute, but then reduced the Husband’s obligation to zero for unpaid periodic claims which had accrued over a 20 month period. The Supreme Court found that you cannot retroactively modify an alimony obligation when it is a final judgment and therefore, the Husband owed the past due arrearages.

The moral of the ruling is to file your modification of alimony obligation immediately, because only the Court can modify its Orders and only with respect to future payments.

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