Homemakers have unique concerns over alimony in Florida

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2022 | Florida Family Law

In Florida, when a couple decides to get divorced, some of the most pressing questions that come up center on how much alimony will be paid and for how long. The answers will vary, depending on the situation. While many households have two incomes, this is not true in every case.

In some marriages, one spouse is a homemaker. They might have put their career aspirations and education to the side so the other party could be the earner and advance in their business or career. When the divorce proceeds, the homemaker might not know how they will make ends meet if the alimony is limited in amount and duration. This is a unique concern that should be addressed as part of the case.

What does the law say about alimony in this context?

There are several options to choose from under state law when the court is deciding on alimony. For people who may need time to make the transition to a single-income home, there is bridge-the-gap alimony. This lets them cover their short-term needs, but it will not go beyond 2 years. This might not be sufficient for a person who was a homemaker and does not have extensive skills to join the workforce, support themselves and maintain the lifestyle from the marriage.

For people who will need some time to reacquaint themselves with the workplace or need some education, training and experience, there is rehabilitative alimony. For this to be the option used in the alimony award, a comprehensive plan must be established as to how the person will eventually be able to self-support. Depending on how much work experience the homemaker has and what their training, education and skills are, this might or might not be a viable solution.

Durational alimony will, as the term implies, last for a specific duration. This is frequently used for marriages that were either short (fewer than seven years) or moderate (seven to 17 years). The recipient will need the alimony for a certain amount of time, but it is not permanent. For homemakers who are still at an age where they can accumulate skills and education, this could be the preferred choice.

Finally, there is permanent alimony. This awards the person payments to maintain the lifestyle they had during the marriage and be supported. It is used when the person does not have the ability to find suitable work to maintain their lifestyle and support themselves. This is generally used in longer marriages of 17 or more years. A homemaker who did not have significant skills and abilities and was out of the job market for a long time might get permanent alimony.

Those dealing with concerns about alimony and their future should have help

A marriage in which one person chose to stay at home, care for children and run the household could leave them wondering what will happen to them if there is a divorce and they do not have sufficient experience for self-support.

In these cases, it is imperative to know the options and make sure they are treated fairly based on the circumstances. Having professional help that treats people like family, cares about their future and will strive to ensure that they achieve a favorable outcome is essential.

In some cases, it is possible to negotiate. The wage-earning spouse may not want to leave the other person in desperate financial straits. If the case is acrimonious, then it might be necessary to go to court to try and maximize the alimony payments. Consulting with trustworthy and experienced professionals who put the client’s needs above all is critical in family law cases. Calling for advice is a useful first step to achieving a good result.