Orlando Alimony Lawyers
Florida law on alimony is in a state of flux. Historically, Florida courts generally had required the higher earning spouse to assist the lower earner financially with spousal support—at least for some period of time. In marriages of mid-term or short-term duration, it is far less likely that alimony will be awarded for any extended period of time, except for special circumstances, such as the disability of a spouse. While the amount and duration of alimony payments may vary, you may also work out a support arrangement on your own terms and include it in your divorce agreement. In either case, it is important that you are informed by an experienced Orlando alimony lawyer about the current state of alimony laws before you agree on spousal support that you will pay or receive.
Types of Alimony Explained by Experienced Orlando Alimony Lawyers
In Florida, there are presently five different types of alimony—temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent—which may be awarded in any combination that seems fair under the circumstances. For example, a lower earning spouse may receive permanent alimony and rehabilitative alimony in order to secure better paying employment.
Temporary alimony functions as support for a spouse until the divorce is final. At the end of the divorce case, there may or may not be ongoing alimony, or the amount may change. The purpose of this type of alimony is to provide support for the lower income spouse during the divorce case.
Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a former spouse’s transition from a divorce to self-sufficiency. It may not be awarded for more than two years, nor is it modifiable.
Rehabilitative alimony is used to educate a former spouse or to enhance his or her jobs skills so that he or she may become self-supporting. In order for this type of alimony to be awarded, the requesting spouse must have a specific plan for the costs and profession(s) in which he or she will participate.
Durational alimony is alimony for a specific period of time. Under current law, that duration may be less than, but not greater than the length of the marriage. This form of alimony is awardable in marriages of any length of time. Whether it is appropriate for you depends on the particular facts of your case.
The purpose of permanent alimony is to provide for the ongoing needs of a spouse who is and will be unable to otherwise provide for him- or herself after divorce. Ordinarily, permanent alimony is only awarded in a marriage of greater than 17 years in length. However, there are circumstances in which permanent alimony may be appropriate in shorter term marriages. Permanent alimony is modifiable in the event of a substantial change in either former spouses’ circumstances. Under current Florida law, if a party retires at a typical age, permanent alimony may be reduced or terminated when the paying spouse retires. Our dedicated Orlando alimony lawyers will help you in any type of alimony case.
Alimony Guidelines Explained by Experienced Orlando Alimony Lawyers
In Florida, alimony is based on the lower earning spouse’s need and the higher earning spouse’s ability to pay. Once need and ability are established, Florida law provides guidelines for determining what type of alimony to award and for how long. These factors include:
- The financial resources of the spouse seeking support, including separate property and any award of marital property
- All sources of income (including investment income) available to either spouse
- Each spouse’s earning capacity, educational history, vocational skills, and employability
- Any time and expense required by the spouse seeking maintenance to obtain education and training for appropriate employment
- The marital standard of living
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s age and physical and emotional condition
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, including homemaking, child care, education, and helping the other spouse build a career
- Any tax consequences of the alimony award
- The responsibilities each spouse will have for any minor children they have in common
All alimony terminates upon the death of either spouse or the remarriage of the recipient. An unforeseen change in either parties’ circumstances, both economic or due to the cohabitation of a recipient spouse in a relationship similar to a marriage, may be cause for modification in any of the above-listed types of alimony. Seek professional representation from reliable Orlando alimony lawyers.
Contact the Orlando Alimony Lawyers
If you are asking for alimony or if you object to paying alimony upon divorce, an experienced Orlando alimony lawyer can help you analyze your situation and recommend a successful approach to achieve your goals. In the Orlando area, contact the law office of Goodblatt · Leo for thoughtful, goal-oriented representation.