Alimony Attorney in Florida

alimony

Alimony, also known as “spousal support”, is payment from one spouse to another spouse after they have decided to dissolve their marriage. Alimony payments provide financial assistance to ex-spouses who were financially dependent during the marriage. Alimony is intended to ease the transition to single life and help maintain an acceptable standard of living for spouses who were financially dependent on their ex-spouse. Florida family law courts have a lot of discretion over this process, including whether or not alimony will be awarded, for how long payments will continue, and the amount of support that will be paid.

Under Florida divorce law, a court is not required to award or deny alimony payments under any particular set of facts or circumstances. However, a court will be required to consider all relevant factors in determining if alimony should be paid and, if so, how much. The following list is an example of the factors a court may consider in determining an alimony award:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age and physical condition of each spouse
  • Financial resources of each spouse
  • Standard of living to which each spouse has become accustomed
  • Occupation, education, and current income of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, including homemaking, childcare, education, and career building of the other party
  • Responsibilities of each spouse to any minor children

If alimony is awarded, the alimony payments should be an amount that is sufficient to provide reasonable maintenance of living standards to the ex-spouse. The court will often consider the cost of food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and other household expenses of the ex-spouse when determining sufficient alimony.

How Does Alimony Work in Florida

In Florida, alimony might also be referred to as maintenance. Under Florida law, a spouse may receive alimony to bridge the financial gap, serve rehabilitative purposes (helping the individual become self-sufficient), be for a set duration, or be permanent.

Under Florida law, a spouse is entitled to receive alimony in various forms. This could manifest as bridge-the-gap alimony, aimed at providing short-term relief, or as rehabilitative alimony, whose goal is to help the recipient achieve a state of financial independence. Alimony could also be awarded on a durational basis for a pre-determined period or on a permanent basis, offering sustained financial assistance.

In total, there are five types of award alimony. A judge may award any combination of these types of alimony payments, which may be made periodically or in one lump sum. The types of awarding alimony are determined by how long the payments will last.

  1. Temporary alimony is awarded during the divorce proceeding and ends when the final judgment is entered. See Florida divorce case Littlejohn v. Littlejohn to learn more about temporary alimony.
  2. Bridge the gap alimony looks at what each spouse would need to transition to single life. Bridge the gap alimony is transitional; it considers bills and foreseeable expenses of starting life without a spouse.
  3. Rehabilitative alimony has goals similar to bridge the gap. Rehabilitative alimony considers the time one spouse may need to further their education short or moderate and/or obtain appropriate employment.
  4. Durational alimony in Florida can be awarded in short-term or moderate-term marriages. It is alimony for a pre-determined amount of time and cannot exceed the length of the marriage. For instance, if married for two years, one spouse cannot receive durational alimony for more than two years.
  5. Permanent alimony is usually only granted in moderate or long-term marriages. Permanent alimony usually continues until either death or remarriage.

Contact Our Experienced Alimony Attorneys in Florida

Florida divorce law has no concrete guidelines that courts must follow when determining alimony payments. The skill and experience of the attorney you hire in your divorce proceedings can significantly impact the court’s decision to award spousal support. Without competent legal counsel, you could be required by the court to pay more alimony than you should or, conversely, not receive the full amount of alimony payments to which you are entitled.

The attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A., are experienced in all types of alimony and thoroughly understand the law. Whether it has been requested that you pay alimony or you need to receive alimony for financial support, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Florida divorce attorney at our family law firm.

Frequently Asked Questions

In many instances, remarriage can be grounds to modify or terminate alimony. Additionally, being in a supportive relationship may be enough to terminate alimony, even if they have not married.

If you need to lower or stop permanent alimony, a petition for alimony modification should be filed. Florida law does not allow one spouse to unilaterally change the terms of Florida alimony, even if they have a legitimate basis for doing so. Therefore, if a change is needed, you should seek approval from the court.

If your ex has stopped paying permanent alimony without court approval, you may have grounds to file a motion for contempt. If the motion is granted, the court will require the permanent alimony to be paid. Additionally, they can impose penalties against the party who failed to pay.

Yes, one spouse may be required to pay durational alimony in Florida without filing for divorce. Spouses have a legal duty to provide financial support for living expenses, childcare, and other relevant factors. Moreover, there is no requirement that the party paying the lump sum alimony to be at fault for the separation.

Florida divorce law does allow for the opportunity to receive alimony. The law applies a two-part test to determine if alimony is appropriate. First, you must prove you have a need for alimony. Secondly, you must show the other party has the ability to pay.

Most often, permanent alimony is only available for marriages that have lasted at least 17 years. This type of alimony is intended to provide for the needs and necessities of a spouse who lacks the financial ability to be self-sustaining.

The amount of lump-sum alimony in Florida depends on the specific details of each case. There is no mathematical formula to determine the amount of alimony. Instead, it will be based on an amount necessary to maintain the standard of living you became accustomed to during the marriage.

There is no minimum amount of time you must be married in order to receive alimony. However, the length of the marriage will be a factor in determining whether alimony will be awarded, and if so, for how long.