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Alimony in Florida: An Overview

Published at April 8, 2020 by administrator.

Alimony in Florida and around the country is a sensitive topic. Divorce disputes often center around the financial disparity between two parties. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 380,000 women and 12,000 men receive spousal support.

Men often refuse to take alimony even when it is appropriate for them. Gender roles are an important aspect and using an attorney can help you through this process. Alimony is meant to ensure the sustainable lifestyle of both divorce parties, but there are a lot of specifics that go into figuring the monetary amount. 

Hiring a reputable attorney is essential to ensuring you are treated fairly in the alimony assessment process.

What is Alimony?

Alimony (also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance) is the legal obligation to provide financial support to the spouse with lower income.

The purpose of alimony is to enable each person in the couple to maintain the same standard of living the couple enjoyed while married. Often Alimony is awarded when a couple has been married for a lengthy marriage (about 12-14 years). In these situations, one spouse has often supported the other by giving up their career to take care of children.

The judge in the divorce case will assess all information provided before determining if alimony is appropriate. Some information that is taken into count includes:

  • Financial needs of the person requesting alimony
  • Payor’s ability to pay
  • Lifestyle the couple enjoyed while married
  • Ability of each party to earn including current earnings and potential earnings
  • Length of marriage

Circumstances That Involve Alimony

Two golden wedding rings sitting on hundred dollar bills.

The circumstances for awarding alimony varies from case to case. There are a few examples that are consistent throughout the process, though. It is important to discuss your specific case with your lawyer.

Some examples of the most common circumstances involving alimony in Florida include:

  • One spouse stayed at home raising children while the other spouse worked to support the household.
  • One spouse gave up higher career goals to support another spouse who was able to take on higher career goals.
  • One spouse worked and supported another spouse through medical school, or other lengthy education, and then stayed home when the spouse becomes a doctor, etc.
  • One spouse earns a despairingly higher income than the other spouse and the marriage has lasted a significant period of time. 

The Legal Process for Alimony in Florida

It is important to remember that alimony in Florida is not awarded based on the gender of either party in the case. The legal process is specific to the gap in financial resources and either party can ask for alimony to be considered in the case.

The legal process for alimony in Florida involves some very specific steps:

1.     One party requesting an alimony assessment

2.     The court will make a factual determination whether either party has a need which includes assessing:

  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Duration of marriage
  • Age, physical and emotional condition of each party
  • Financial resources of each party
  • Earning capacity of each party
  • Education levels and vocational skills of each party
  • Contribution of each party to the marriage
  • Responsibilities of each party in the care of children

3.     The length of the marriage is assessed in determining the length of an alimony order

  • 7 years or less is considered a short marriage
  • Under 17 years is considered a moderate-term marriage
  • Over 17 years is considered a long-term marriage

4. Both parties are allowed to submit evidence to the court in favor of their case when figuring the alimony amount.

5. The court enters the alimony order.

How an Alimony Lawyer Can Help You

Lawyer helping a client with papers on the desk.

There are dozens of factors that go into determining alimony amounts. Even in divorce cases when both parties believe alimony is a reasonable request, there can be differing opinions on the amount that is appropriate.

Alimony in Florida is complex and can be very overwhelming. Your attorney will walk you through the process and help ensure you understand every aspect. Hiring an attorney can help save you thousands of dollars by ensuring you consider all financial aspects of the alimony order.

Money can quickly make a divorce case become very contentious. When you work with an attorney, they can help you stay focused on what matters in your case. Your attorney will work with you to ensure your desires are heard and your concerns listened to. Divorce is never an easy process, but when using a highly skilled attorney, you can lessen the stress that is involved.

Contact us for a free consultation today! We can walk you through the process of assessing alimony in your divorce case. You can reach us by calling (561) 540-4533 or visiting us at 2290 10th Avenue North, Suite 302, Lake Worth, Florida 33461

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