When it comes to divorce proceedings, the discussion around determining alimony is often a dreaded one. Today, alimony has become somewhat of a dirty word. Many potential clients who need alimony payments are hesitant to request it because society has begun to view alimony recipients as getting something for nothing. And while it may be true that some people have taken alimony from a former spouse when they didn’t need it, many others are well entitled to temporary alimony or even permanent alimony as a means of financial support after the dissolution of a marriage.
Florida Alimony Laws
If you are going through a divorce in Florida, it’s important to know the law around alimony in Florida. In determining whether alimony or spousal support should be awarded, the Court must make two determinations: does the party requesting alimony have a financial need (like significantly less net income) and does the other spouse have the ability to pay. This means that Florida courts will not award alimony if the recipient does not need it or the payor doesn’t have the financial resources or ability to pay.
The Court also looks at the length of the marriage to determine whether it was a short-term marriage, moderate-term marriage, or long-term marriage. Generally, the shorter the marriage, the less likely it will be for an alimony obligation to be awarded. Thus, the length of the marriage is an important factor in deciding the amount of alimony awarded.
Until fairly recently, it was very common that one spouse was the primary breadwinner, and one party remained at home and did not work. In this situation, it is understandable that it would be difficult to enter the workforce after many years without employment. But society is quickly changing, as are family dynamics. Today, many couples both work, and it is not uncommon to see a supportive relationship where both spouses contribute to the marital assets. As a result, there should be fewer permanent alimony or lifetime alimony awards, and there should be an overall reduction in how much alimony is being paid out.
However, to prove that the unemployed or underemployed ex-spouse can earn more than they are currently making, you must have competent legal counsel with a strong knowledge of Florida alimony law.
Types of Alimony Award Options
As you can probably imagine, awarding alimony is not a clear-cut and straightforward process. A spouse’s ability to pay alimony and the financial stability of the spouse seeking alimony are both important factors to be considered when deciding how much, if any, compensation will be awarded.
Many different types of alimony may be awarded, depending on the details of the divorce proceeding:
Bridge The Gap Alimony
Bridge the gap alimony is temporary support used to aid a spouse through a transition period. This type of alimony may be awarded for a short period of time while the party receiving alimony adjusts to their new situation.
Rehabilitative alimony is used to help a party obtain appropriate employment skills needed to re-enter the workforce through education, vocational skills training, or support while building work experience.
Under Florida law, durational alimony provides support in a defined amount for a set length in time. The length of the marriage is an important factor in the award of durational alimony.
Permanent alimony in Florida provides support for an indefinite period of time. Such an award is given when one spouse cannot meet their needs on their own. This is generally only awarded in long-term marriages or exceptional circumstances. Additionally, despite the name, this type of alimony generally terminates upon the remarriage of the receiving spouse and is modifiable when there has been a substantial change in circumstances, including retirement.
Connect with Bragg Law Firm for Your Alimony Needs
If you are concerned about paying alimony or that the amount of alimony you are currently paying isn’t accurate, or if you are concerned that you do deserve to receive alimony and aren’t receiving it, contact Adam Bragg today to discuss how alimony or spousal support should be analyzed in your case.
Call Adam Bragg today at (941) 893-1555. Mr. Bragg practices family law at his Florida law firm and can help with all types of matters like a divorce petition, child support for minor children, alimony modification, and more.