Including Spousal Support and Maintenance
Today alimony has become a very controversial word. Many potential clients who have need for alimony are very hesitant to request it because society has begun to view alimony recipients as persons getting something for nothing. And while it is certainly true that there are people out there that have truly taken advantage of this system, it is also not the 1950’s anymore.
In Florida, in determining whether alimony or spousal support should be awarded, the Court must make a determination regarding the receiving spouse’s need and the paying spouse’s ability to pay. This means that no support can be awarded if the recipient does not have a need for it or the payor doesn’t have the ability to pay. Next the Court looks at the length of the marriage, is this a short-term marriage, medium length or long-term marriage? Generally, the shorter the marriage the less likely alimony would be awarded. This also affects the length of time alimony is awarded.
Until somewhat recently, it was very common that one spouse was the bread winner and one party remained at home. In this situation it is understandable that after many years of non-working it would be difficult to enter the workforce. However, society has changed. Today, many couples both work or at least worked prior to the marriage. As a result, there should be less and less permanent alimony awards. However, to prove that the unemployed or underemployed spouse has the ability to earn more than he or she is currently making requires competent legal counsel.
Additionally, we now have many different types of alimony that are used when appropriate, including:
- Bridge the gap alimony: to aid a spouse through a transition period.
- Rehabilitative alimony: to help a party develop or redevelop work related skills through education, training, or support while building work experience.
- Durational alimony: provides support in a defined amount for a set length in time.
- Permanent alimony: provides support for an indefinite period of time because the spouse will not be able to meet their needs. This is generally only awarded in long-term marriage cases. Additionally, despite the name, this type of alimony is generally terminates upon the remarriage of the recipient spouse and is modifiable when there has been a substantial change in circumstances which includes retirement.
Concerned that you do deserve alimony or that your spouse is voluntarily underemployed? Contact Mr. Bragg today to discuss how alimony or spousal support should be analyzed in your case. Call Adam Bragg today at (941) 893-1555 or use the form to the right to request more information.