Spouses facing divorce may need have a need for alimony. Alimony is also known as spousal support. For example, spousal support may be awarded to a spouse who contributed as a homemaker and needs rehabilitative alimony. The courts determine alimony based on many factors during divorce proceedings.
The courts review the following factors determining alimony:
- Assets, financial contributions, and sources of income
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Duration of the marriage
- Earning capacity of both parties
- Responsibilities of minor children involved in the divorce
- Health, age, and emotional condition of each spouse
- Marital contributions such as child rearing, homemaking, and career building
Most of the time spouses can agree on the terms of alimony in a divorce settlement. But when spouses can’t come to a agreement, the judge makes a determination for spousal support.
What is Alimony?
Alimony is a court-ordered provision of a divorce decree. The purpose of alimony is to provide financial support to the spouse who has a need in a divorce. There are many different types of alimony awarded in Florida.
- Permanent alimony - support awarded to spouses married longer than seventeen years.
- Durational alimony - spousal support awarded to spouses for the length of the marriage.
- Rehabilitative alimony - provided to assist spouses with furthering education and career but only temporary.
- Bridge-The-Gap alimony - temporary alimony with a two-year maximum benefit to help spouses with short-term needs.
- Lump Sum alimony - created to assist with the proportionment of assets.
- Temporary alimony - designed to help with divorce costs, but ends when the divorce is finalized.
Alimony payments are made through depositories called the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) allocating funds to the spouse receiving payments when children are involved in the divorce. If no children are included in the divorce, then the parties can agree on how the funds can be allocated. This limits contact with spouses after finalizing their divorce.
Ultimately the courts have to determine the need for alimony versus the ability to pay alimony. Florida laws cover determinations for alimony under Florida statutes (fl.stat.sec §61.08).
Pursuing Spousal Support in Florida
Steps that should be taken before pursuing alimony:
- Create a budget of estimated expenses.
- Consult with a family law attorney.
- File the proper documents with the courts.
- Start living independently. For example, move out of the family home.
Modification of Alimony
Spousal support can be modified. Support can only be modified after the original court order has been ordered. There must be a substantial change in living circumstances to petition for modification.
When Spousal Support Ends
Alimony ends when:
- The date that automatically terminates the alimony court order
- When one spouse can no longer pay, such as becoming disabled
- When the spouse receiving support no longer has a need
- The spouse enters into another supportive relationship
The Law Office of Jason G. Smith Handles Delicate Matters Concerning Alimony
Oftentimes alimony is need. Getting assistance from a divorce attorney to help navigate the legalities of your divorce proceedings may be beneficial for your financial exigencies. The Law Office of Jason G. Smith can help guide you with your spousal support concerns.