When you consult with a divorce attorney, you may want to know if alimony should be part of your agreement. Alimony is not an automatic consideration as it may have been in the past, and divorce attorneys understand that each circumstance is different.
The state of Florida also understands that divorce arrangements vary from the ending of one marriage to another. Under state law, spouses may receive four types of alimony. A judge uses certain guidelines to determine how much money one spouse should give to the other spouse while considering any additional relevant information that may affect the alimony award.
Navigating this and other divorce arrangements can be confusing and complicated. Legal services from a divorce attorney from Divorce & Mediation Law Firm can help you get a second chance at a new life by building a case, including alimony, if it is in your best interest.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony is a legal obligation of financial support that one spouse pays to the other. A judge may award alimony as a one-time lump sum or have it payable in monthly installments.
An alimony award depends on two factors: the financial need of one spouse and the other spouse’s ability to pay support. A divorce and alimony attorney can evaluate your situation to see if it meets these criteria.
Beyond these two factors, Florida divorce law also includes these other mitigating circumstances that can help a judge determine if alimony is appropriate:
- Length of marriage
- Standard of living recognized during the marriage
- Earning capacity of each spouse
- All sources of income, including passive income from interest, rent, dividends, or other asset disbursements
- Age, skills, and education of each spouse, and if additional education and training can improve the earning potential of the spouse in need
- Financial resources, including assets and debts, of each spouse
- Household contributions made during the marriage, such as domestic responsibilities, childcare, or support for one spouse’s career
- Any taxes owed by either party
Other circumstances may also play a role in awarding alimony, such as adultery committed by either spouse. Even though Florida is a no-fault divorce state, a judge can consider issues that led to the end of the marriage when making an award decision. Be sure to ask your divorce attorney what may be relevant to your case.
What Are the Four Types of Alimony?
Alimony could be awarded in various forms such as:
This kind of alimony is a short-term solution to help spouses in financial need get back on their feet. The award payments typically terminate two years after the divorce finalizes. This alimony cannot be modified and usually only ends early in the case of remarriage or death.
This form has a set period where the supported spouse can get additional training and education to become financially independent. The vocational rehabilitation plan should include the time frame. The alimony can be modified or terminated early if the supported spouse does not follow the agreed-upon plan or finishes earlier than expected.
For short or moderate-length marriages, durational alimony may make more sense. The duration may not exceed the length of the marriage; for example, an 11-year marriage would equate to an 11-year term. Modification of the alimony award only occurs in the case of death or remarriage of the spouse receiving support.
This form of alimony is usually only awarded in cases of long-term marriages of 17 years or more, and provides ongoing lifetime support for the spouse in financial need by the other spouse with the higher earning capacity.
Marriages of shorter duration would need to demonstrate why permanent alimony is necessary. Again, death, remarriage by the spouse in need, or a change in financial circumstances of the earning spouse may change or terminate the alimony terms.
The Advantages of Collaboration
In a perfect world, divorce attorneys could rely on collaborative law between spouses who can agree on the terms of their divorce, and no one would need to go to court. Unfortunately, the real world does not always work that way, which is why hiring a divorce attorney may be your best strategy. Life is too short to be in the wrong relationship.
The Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm is here to help you navigate the choppy waters of divorce in Florida. Our bilingual law firm is passionate about helping people protect their children and assets during divorce and other family law matters. We settle where we can and fight when we must.
Our Divorce Attorneys will work with you to explain the legal ramifications of divorce, child custody, child support, and alimony. We also offer prenuptial and post-divorce services to get you on track for the next stage of your life.
Divorce Attorney Near Me: Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm
Divorce & Mediation Law Firm has offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, and Sunny Isles Beach to serve clients throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Our experienced divorce attorneys can answer any questions you have about alimony or any other concerns you may have about your divorce. Contact us at (954) 447-2580 to schedule your confidential consultation with our team of divorce attorneys. You can also fill out our online form here.