Alimony Lawyer Mike Mackhanlall
One of the biggest questions that potential clients ask me about is alimony. How much will I have to pay my wife/husband if we divorce? I typically answer by first asking how long the marriage was? During the marriage who supported who? During the marriage was your spouse gainfully employed? These are the biggest questions because unlike child support, there is NO formula or calculation that the court will use in determining alimony. You may have 10 judges try your alimony case and you may receive 10 different results. This is why it’s imperative to hire a quality attorney to prepare your case for best results. The legislature has tried for years to establish a formula but intense lobbying on both sides has scuttled any resolution every time.
These are the most important considerations to discuss when considering your exposure in a divorce case. The most important factors in this area, are the length of the marriage and whether the other spouse had an equally rewarding career as you. These are important inquiries because the first thing a Florida court will look at is the NEED for the party asking for alimony, and secondly does the paying party has the ABILITY to pay alimony. If the answer is yes to both of those questions then the court will go through the factors listed below. This is where a skilled attorney comes into play in properly building your case along the factors that the court will consider. Our alimony services will ensure your security during this overwhelming process.
Spousal support can be granted in form of a lump sum or on an ongoing basis. As a matter of common sense, it is a commonly held belief that a spouse is considered dependent when he (or she) makes less money than the other spouse. However, this is one of many criteria that are taken into consideration by the Florida family courts
in its determination as to whether alimony should be granted, and if so, which type. So what are some of the other factors that are examined?
Under Florida’s alimony laws, the following circumstances are also reviewed:
- the needs of the requesting spouse
- the ability of the other spouse to pay
- the duration of the marriage
- their ages and health at the time of dissolution
- standard of living during the marriage
- the current financial resources of the divorcing couple
- their respective contributions to the marriage
- other relevant statutory factors that must be taken into account
Some of the guidelines in place for alimony are temporary while others are long-term. In Florida, there are several types of alimony available.
Which is when an award of alimony allows the receiving spouse to transition from married life to single life. Some of the features of this type of alimony are: that alimony payments may not exceed 2 years in duration, there is no ability to modify the award of alimony which means that the paying spouse can’t seek to terminate or reduce the amount of awarded alimony, and the supported spouse can’t seek modification for an increase either. It terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the receiving spouse.
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded when the receiving spouse needs to develop (or re-develop) his or her job skills or credentials in order to become self-supporting. Let’s say, for example, when a couple was first married, the receiving spouse was a truck driver. However, when the couple decided to have children, the truck driver stopped working to be a stay-at-home parent. Now several years have elapsed, his or her skills are outdated, and the truck driver’s license has expired. The truck driver may need some time and financial assistance to re-train and find another job in the field. Rehabilitative alimony is meant to provide the financial support needed in order to allow the supported spouse to get trained and find a job.
This is a newly-named form of alimony in Florida. It was added to address short-term (less than 7 years) or moderate-term marriages (greater than 7 years but less than 17 years), and to apply when permanent alimony is not appropriate. Durational alimony is set for a period of time to provide economic assistance to parties of a short or moderate-term marriage that does not exceed the length of the marriage. Otherwise it’s modifiable based upon a “substantial change of circumstance, “and automatically terminated upon either party’s death or the supported spouse’s remarriage.
Permanent Periodic Alimony
This is usually the most feared form of alimony for a paying spouse and the most desired form of alimony for a receiving spouse. Generally, permanent periodic alimony is awarded in long-term marriages (over 17 years in duration). Some of the aspects of this type of alimony are: that payments continue until the death of either party, the remarriage of the receiving spouse or upon a court order demanding modification or termination of support. It is generally tax deductible to the paying spouse which in turn becomes taxable income for the receiving spouse.
The type of alimony that is best suited for you is something that’s decided by balancing one party’s needs against the other party’s financial abilities. Many times the support is agreed upon by the parties and included in an agreement that the parties sign before finalizing the divorce.
If you have any questions regarding the state of alimony in Florida, we will be happy to assist you.
Free Alimony Consultations
If you have any questions about Florida Alimony matters, we can help. Give us a call in order to receive a Free Consultation with an attorney; call us at 407-926-6613.