How To Determine Florida Spousal Support
Alimony payments are an important part of any Florida divorce because financial matters coincide with marital duties. Once a divorce decree is issued by a judge, it sets off a series of events that will change an ex-spouse’s life forever.
I am attorney Mark E. Sawicki. As an experienced Florida divorce lawyer, I understand that a top concern of yours is what your lifestyle will be like after a divorce. Whether you are on the paying or receiving end of alimony, the arrangement to which you agree will greatly affect the choices you have. I will work one-on-one with you to ensure that you understand your rights in this regard.
The First Thing You Need To Know About Florida Alimony
Alimony payments are an important part of divorce because financial matters coincide with marital duties. Once a divorce decree is issued by a judge, it sets off a series of events that will greatly impact both spouses. While there are general guidelines that most judges follow, various aspects of your marriage can and will affect alimony.
Why Does Alimony Get Granted By The Courts?
Alimony is court-ordered because ex-spouses are notorious for not upholding support for their ex-spouses. Some consider alimony as unnecessary or unwarranted, but these beliefs couldn’t be further from the truth. Alimony has been a long-established legal practice since British common law was brought over to the colonies. Luckily, modern courts award alimony after having qualified judges review specific criteria. These criteria include:
- The available financial resources of each spouse, which includes property and rentals
- The sources of income, investments, and assets that each spouse has
- The earning capacity and employability of each spouse
- The time a spouse who has not worked will need to educate or train for employment
- The marital standard of living the spouses have experienced
- The length of the marriage
- The age, physical, and mental conditions of each spouse
- How the spouses’ contribution to the marriage affects alimony
- The tax consequences of paying or receiving alimony
- The number of children you have
It’s important to understand how Florida alimony is awarded. As an attorney with years of experience with Florida divorce, I work closely with you to ensure that you get a realistic solution to your spousal support issue. In some cases, even uncontested divorces require alimony negotiation.
Who Decides How Much Alimony/Spousal Support Is Issued?
A judge will decide how much alimony spousal support is issued. The judge will determine this number based on the above criteria. The income capability and current income of the spouses involved is typically the issue that has the greatest bearing on what is granted.
There are different types of alimony that also dictate how the payments will be issued. In Florida, these types are:
- Temporary support: This is meant to be used during the divorce process. Once a divorce is finalized, temporary alimony usually ends.
- Bridge-the-gap short-term alimony support: This has a maximum of two years.
- Rehabilitative alimony support: This is directly aimed at education or training for the employment of the ex-spouse.
- Durational-support: This cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
- Permanent support: This is exactly as it sounds – permanent alimony support is support that will likely be permanent.
How Long Alimony/Spousal Support Will Be Issued
Every situation is different, and judges take this into consideration when deciding how long alimony spousal support will be ordered. The order can also be modified if there are extenuating circumstances, including: job loss, income loss, and other financial difficulties that can result in the adjustment of alimony.
Ensure That You Understand Your Rights To Spousal Support
Because every marriage and every divorce is different, it’s important that you understand your specific situation and what you can likely expect or pursue. I can help. Call me at Mark E. Sawicki, P.A., at 954-928-9331 to set up a consultation. You can also connect with my online contact form. There is space on the form to leave a line or two about your main concerns. From law offices in Palm Beach Gardens and Melbourne, I work with clients throughout Broward, Palm Beach, and Brevard counties, and all surrounding areas.