Understanding Alimony/Spousal Support in Florida
Whenever a situation arises between a divorcing couple, one party may have been the sole or primary provider for the family. If a couple like this separates it will leave the other spouse without financial support. This is especially true if that spouse has little to no educational background or training or even delayed their career growth to support their spouse’s education or career. For anyone currently dealing with this firsthand, you are in luck. Florida divorce laws provide a means by which divorcing couples can both maintain similar standards of living as they separate. Courts sometimes order spouses to pay alimony or another form of support to their other spouses.
Determining alimony or spousal support is an intense process. You should always have an experienced professional on your side. An attorney to protect your rights and interests while fighting to ensure you receive alimony or support to fit your personal situation.
Alimony is an award of financial support from one spouse to another at the end of a marriage. It may be given as a lump sum or incrementally for a stated period of time. In order to be awarded alimony, one spouse must show a demonstrated need for support and the ability of the other spouse to pay it. Such an amount can be negotiated between soon-to-be-former spouses, often via a Fort Lauderdale alimony attorney.
At The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., I provide comprehensive and personalized legal services covering every aspect of a divorce action, including spousal support.
Under the state law, spouses may be entitled to pursue different kinds of spousal support or alimony like:
- Spousal support: This term basically refers to financial payments made by one spouse to another during the same time that they have separated from each other. This must be done before filing for divorce. This type of support is established by the agreement of both parties. Under particular circumstances, one party may be able to seek a court order for support during separation.
- Alimony pendente lite: This is a temporary award granted during a divorce proceeding. The primary intention is to maintain the status quo of the marriage until the court issues a final judgment of divorce. At that point, alimony pendente lite will terminate. It may or may not be replaced with an award of alimony.
- Limited durational alimony: An award with the intention to last for a number of years. The limited durational alimony cannot last longer than the length of the marriage.
- Open durational alimony: Under this form, sometimes called permanent alimony, it is awarded following the dissolution of a long-term marriage. A long-term marriage is considered anything more than 20 years.
When awarded limited or open durational alimony, both parties’ agreement or court order will entitle each of them to seek modification or termination of the alimony. This could be due to any changed circumstances like the recipient’s party of completion of education or training, or remarriage.
How Alimony Is Determined in Florida
In Florida, there are different types of alimony under the statute. One type the state courts can enforce is “bridge-the-gap” alimony. This type of spousal support attempts to place the former spouse on equal footing as the other.
Alimony may be awarded on either a temporary or permanent basis at the end of a marriage. Temporary alimony is also known as rehabilitative alimony.
The appropriate type of spousal support largely depends on the length of a marriage. Short-term marriages are those less than seven years. In these situations, alimony is not usually appropriate unless you can show an exceptional circumstance. Moderate-term marriages are those more than seven years but fewer than 17 years. Those marriages longer than 17 years are often given permanent alimony.
Permanent alimony can be granted in one of two ways: as permanent periodic alimony or in a lump sum. Periodic alimony is given over a period of time until the former spouse remarries or one of the spouses dies. Permanent periodic alimony is supposed to cover the former spouses’ essential needs.
Sometimes former spouses elect to receive their alimony as a lump sum. This is sometimes desirable if the future earning power of the paying spouse is in doubt. It may also be used to balance out the division of property to ensure that it is equitable. Only spouses who are eligible to receive permanent alimony may receive it in a lump-sum form.
Rehabilitative alimony is given in situations where there is a need for support for a limited period of time. This may be awarded under various circumstances. One such example is when one spouse sets aside his or her career to take care of the children. There are other situations as well where this is appropriate.
Tax Implications Of Alimony
Generally, the person paying the alimony may deduct it from his or her taxes. The spouse who receives alimony is responsible for paying taxes on it as if it were ordinary income.
How I Can Help You In Your Divorce
It takes two adults to build a life and family together. In the event they divorce, they should still continue to enjoy life. At The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., our attorneys will stop at nothing to ensure you receive alimony or spousal support. We can help to obtain an order of support that acknowledges your contributions to the family and marriage. You deserve the right to support yourself until you can comfortably secure the means to live independently. In such cases where you are asked to pay alimony or support to your spouse, our lawyers work hard to keep your obligation fair by affordability and within reason of your spouse’s expenses.
As an alimony attorney in Fort Lauderdale, I understand that this is a scary time for you. I work hard to remain accessible and make my fees affordable. I will try to empower you by giving you the information that you need to understand the process and plan for your family’s future.
As a Fort Lauderdale alimony lawyer, I routinely file alimony petitions. I can give you an estimated monthly payment during the free initial consultation. I can also help you pursue a modification when necessary. To arrange for an appointment, please fill out my online contact form or call me at 954-533-2756.
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For legal representation in any dissolution of marriage matter, please reach out to me online or call me toll free at 954-533-2756.