Divorce is not an easy decision to make, especially if a spouse is dependent on the other for financial support. Some people can feel trapped in a situation because they aren’t sure what will happen once they leave. They know they’ll need time to get settled into their new life, find a new job and become completely self-reliant financially, but aren’t sure they’ll have the resources to make it happen.
That’s where alimony comes in. In the state of Florida, there are laws in place to assist spouses in these types of situations. However, it’s not always easy to attain. Hiring a divorce lawyer to represent your case is the best way to ensure you’re taken care of financially.
If you’re considering divorce and have questions about alimony laws in Florida, here’s what you need to know.
What You Need to Know About Alimony in Florida
What are the different forms of alimony?
There are four main forms of alimony in Florida:
- Bridge-the-Gap — a short-term cash agreement awarded to one spouse that is meant to help speed the transition from being married back to being single
- Rehabilitative — awarded to help the receiving spouse become fully self-supportive that often includes job training and education
- Durational — alimony created by statute in 2010 for shorter marriages that are capped legally at the length of the marriage
- Permanent — intended for long marriages, over 17 years, and typically lasts until one of the spouses dies or the receiving spouse gets married again (can be modified if there is a significant change in earning capacity/life circumstances of either party
In addition, there can be any combination of these forms, as well as Temporary and Lump Sum.
What factors determine alimony?
The various determining factors for alimony in Florida will have a significant impact on the amount and duration of the alimony awarded. Acquiring an alimony attorney is important to both spouses because the granting of alimony is not automatic, even in a fault-based divorce.
Here are the main types of factors:
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Duration of the marriage
- Earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the spouses
- Responsibilities in regards to minor children
- All sources of income including investments and assets
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party
A comprehensive list and description of the latest Florida statutes are listed here.
What types of documents will I need?
The calculation of alimony is complicated, and it is in your best interest to have as much documentation as possible. Typical documents needed to calculate alimony in Florida include:
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Mortgage documents
- 401K, additional stocks, and other investment documentation for all assets
- Inventory of household possessions
- Detailed household budget
The sooner you can start gathering the documentation, the better. These documents are needed during the process of filing for alimony.
Why do I need an alimony attorney?
Alimony in Florida (also known as “spousal support”) is not automatic, and the laws surrounding divorce and alimony are intricately complex. An alimony attorney guides you through the process, working diligently to prove your case in court.
An attorney will help you navigate the legal system, advocate for your interests, and help you make informed decisions along the way. Don’t let the complexities of the system overwhelm you. Expert assistance is available to protect and defend your legal rights.
Contact a Divorce Attorney in Clearwater, FL
Dean G. Tsourakis has the experience and expertise to help you get a just and equitable alimony decision. Contact our office today at 727-785-2700. The initial consultation is free.on May 14, 2018