Alimony, which is also commonly referred to as maintenance or spousal support is payment from one ex-spouse to the other. Florida family law allows for many different types of alimony, which can vary in duration, amount, and purpose. Permanent alimony in Florida can allow for alimony payments to continue until death. The divorce attorney in an alimony case can make a big difference on amount of alimony that is awarded. Therefore, it is important that you hire a divorce attorney in Tampa that is experienced litigating for and against permanent alimony in Florida.
How Alimony in Florida is Determined
The fundamental principal behind an award for alimony is the disparity in financial resources of the two parties. However, disparity in financial resources alone is not enough to justify an award for alimony. See Rosen v. Rosen. Instead, Florida family law courts look at one spouse’s ability to pay alimony vs the other spouse’s need for alimony. See Florida divorce case Green v. Green. For information about a specific case or set of circumstances contact a divorce lawyer in your area for assistance.
The amount and duration of any alimony award is determined on a case by case basis. The court will first determine if there is a need for alimony by one party. Secondly, the judge will consider if the other party is able to pay alimony. Once that is determined, then the court must weigh the factors outlined in Florida divorce law 61.08. The statute also states that all other relevant factors can be considered when determining the amount and duration of the alimony award as the list of factors in the statute is not exclusive. An award of alimony may not leave the payor with significantly less net income than the income of the recipient unless there are exceptional circumstances found by the court.
Permanent Alimony in Florida
One of the types of alimony that a Florida family law judge can award is permanent alimony. Permanent alimony in Florida is appropriate when a party in the marriage lacks the ability to meet their needs and necessities of life following a divorce. The needs and necessities of life of that party are determined by the standard of living during the marriage and if it is possible to maintain that lifestyle after the marriage ends. An award of permanent alimony should terminate upon the death of either party or upon remarriage of the payee. Further, an award may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances. An example of a substantial change in circumstances is a supportive relationship of the party receiving alimony. However, the relationship must be in accordance with Florida divorce law 61.14.
In any award of alimony, the court may grant periodic payments or payments in lump sum or both. Although adultery is not considered in determining if a divorce should be granted, the court may consider the adultery of either spouse in determining the amount of alimony to be awarded. An award of permanent alimony is normally awarded after a marriage of long duration. A marriage of long duration is a rebuttable presumption of a minimum of seventeen (17) years. This is the presumed number, but the court can determine this to be inappropriate given certain circumstances. The length of the marriage is the period of time starting from the date of the marriage until the date of the filing of an action for dissolution of marriage (divorce).
An award of permanent alimony can be awarded after a marriage of moderate duration if such factors from Florida Statute 61.08 are considered and an award is determined to be appropriate based on clear and convincing evidence. The rebuttable presumption of a moderate duration marriage is between seven (7) and seventeen (17) years. An award of permanent alimony can be awarded after a marriage of short duration only if there exceptional circumstances.
Temporary alimony in Florida
Another qualification a Florida family law judge must consider is whether any other form of alimony is appropriate. If an award of alimony that is only temporary can be found to be appropriate than an award of permanent alimony in Florida is not appropriate. The court will only grant an award of permanent alimony in Florida if there is nothing else that will be sufficient given the circumstances.
Divorce Law Firm in Tampa
A skilled divorce lawyer in Tampa can make a big impact in a divorce involving a claim for alimony. If you are considering filing for divorce or your spouse has already filed for divorce, call us today to speak with a divorce attorney at our firm. The divorce lawyers at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience in both advocating for and against alimony. With years of experience in family law litigation, we are more than ready to present a compelling case on your behalf and stand firm for what is fair. To schedule a free consultation with a divorce attorney at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763.