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Many people have misconceptions about Alimony and how it works. In Florida, there are different types, and not everyone receives it. In fact, alimony (also known as “spousal support”) is only sometimes awarded in a Divorce case. An Alimony attorney plays a vital role in the legal process to help spouses get the support they need.
What are the types of Alimony in Florida?
There are several different types of Alimony in Florida and each has its own purpose.
- Temporary Alimony – Awarded during the divorce proceedings, but terminated after the entry of the formal divorce decree. It may be replaced by another type.
- Bridge-the-Gap Alimony – Awarded to help a spouse transition from being married to being single. It is considered transitional to help pay expenses while starting a new life.
- Rehabilitative Alimony – Awarded to help the spouse obtain self-sufficiency. It includes a plan such as educational programs or vocational training and may be altered over time if life/income circumstances change significantly for either spouse.
- Durational Alimony – Awarded as a set amount most often to individuals divorcing after a short or moderate-term marriage. It does not exceed the length of the marriage and is used when other types are not the right fit for the divorcing couple.
- Permanent Alimony – Awarded to a spouse to maintain the standard of living set by the marriage. The court will review to determine what amount is reasonable. Typically given in moderate or long-term marriages, but has been awarded in extraordinary circumstances for short-term marriages. Permanent Alimony can sometimes be modified in the future if there is a significant change in life circumstances.
How long do you have to be married in the state of Florida to get Alimony?
To understand what types of Alimony may apply to you, here are the marriage classifications:
- Short-Term – A marriage lasting fewer than seven years. (< 7)
- Moderate-Term – A marriage lasting at least seven years, but fewer than seventeen. (7 – < 17)
- Long –Term – A marriage lasting seventeen or more years. (17+)
A spousal support attorney has extensive expertise in dealing with the Florida judicial system when it comes to divorce. Since different kinds can be applied to the three different classifications of marriage duration, it is important to consult an Alimony attorney to receive the right type and the right amount that is due to you under state law.
What are the factors that are used to decide the amount of the Alimony?
Getting an Alimony attorney can make a huge difference in what is included in the Divorce Decree. If you’re trying to handle your Divorce on your own, it can be easy to make uninformed and unwise choices that come back to haunt you later. Alimony is not automatic, and whether it is included in a Divorce Decree depends on several factors:
- The duration of the marriage (short, moderate or long-term) and the age of both spouses
- The standard of living during the marriage for both spouses
- Each of the individual spouse’s economic conditions — including both marital and non-marital assets, as well as any debts that were incurred during the marriage (credit card, loans, etc.)
- Any emotional or physical impairments that could be a barrier or hindrance to earning capacity and/or economic needs
- The types of contributions each spouse made to the marriage — including salary/other financial contributions, child care, homemaking, supporting a spouse while they were obtaining an education, or helping a spouse build their own business or career
A Clearwater Divorce Attorney works carefully through all of these factors to support and prove a case for an appropriate amount of Alimony. The judge has the authority to utilize all of the factors when determining whether it is awarded, the amount, and what type. Alimony, at its core, is not a penalty meant to punish an individual; it is paid to maintain the standard of living that was established during the marriage.
If Alimony is awarded, the amount is determined by one party’s ability to pay and the other party’s need. Both must be proven in court.
How long do you have to pay spousal support in Florida?
Permanent, durational, and bridge-the-gap Alimony stop after the individual receiving it remarries. Rehabilitative alimony is exempt from this condition. If the receiving spouse does not get remarried, it will end after the death of the paying spouse or the receiving spouse.
As mentioned above, if life circumstances change dramatically, Alimony can sometimes be modified. Durational Alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
Do I need an Alimony Attorney?
In my more than a decade of experience as a practicing Family Law attorney, I’ve helped many clients get a just and equitable Alimony decision. And I can help you too.
With an Alimony Attorney, you will have a compassionate, legal expert on your side during this difficult time. I am dedicated to helping people and committed to your case each step of the way. I’ve been helping clients through the Divorce process since 2006. I know the system, and I’ve successfully navigated countless clients through it, ensuring they get a fair and equitable arrangement out of the process.
Call 727-785-2700 today to schedule a free consultation. I am a Family Law attorney that can help you keep your life on track and be your champion in the complex legal system. I’m proud to be the recipient of the prestigious AV Preeminent® Rating — the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards — earned through a strenuous peer review process that is managed and monitored by the world’s most trusted legal resource, Martindale-Hubbell®.on 05.28.2014