As seasoned divorce lawyers in Orlando, we know the topic of alimony can be one of contention. Also referred to as "maintenance" or "spousal support," alimony is a type of payment that one spouse may have to pay to the other after a divorce. Alimony is used to alleviate unfair economic burdens that may affect the lower earning or non-working spouse.
In Florida, the court will equitably distribute the couple's assets and liabilities, then determine whether alimony is appropriate, to whom support will be paid, and how much the payment will be. Alimony can be granted to either the husband or the wife depending on the circumstances.
However, alimony payments are not a part of every divorce plan. The receiving spouse must show that there is need for alimony and that the paying spouse has the ability to make the alimony payments in order for a judge to grant alimony payments. A spouse can prove there is a need by establishing they will not be able to attain their former standard of living.
At Adams & Luka, we understand that when two people divorce, one party may face a difficult financial future. In fact, without financial support your entire family’s lives can be dramatically impacted. Whether you may be eligible for temporary or permanent alimony depends on several factors, and the circumstances of your marriage.Types of Alimony
In the state of Florida, there are six main types of alimony:
- Temporary Alimony: normally awarded to keep the household bills paid during the duration of the divorce case.
- Durational Alimony: offers alimony to a party in order to provide economic assistance for a set period. This may not exceed the length of the marriage.
- Bridge the Gap Alimony: allows a party to make a transition from being married to being single but does not last for an extended period. This is usually paid over a short period of time or as a lump sum.
- Lump Sum Alimony: a one-time payment, which normally occurs in the form of money or property.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: awarded for a limited period of time to allow the other party to become self-sufficient. These funds are used to develop skills, credentials, education, or work experience to gain financial independence.
- Permanent Alimony: spousal support continues until one of the spouses dies or the payee spouse remarries or is in a supportive/cohabitating relationship, pursuant to Florida Statutes 61.14.
We have successfully represented clients regarding all of the types of alimony, and know what it takes to reach the results you desire.Factors Affecting Alimony
Courts consider a number of factors to determine whether a spouse may be entitled to alimony or spousal support including the financial need of the payee and the financial ability of the payor, duration of the marriage, the earning capacity/skills of each spouse, how each party contributed to the family in terms of career building, child rearing, and other aspects of the marriage, age of both spouses and their physical/emotional conditions, and more.
One of the most important factors when determining the possibility of permanent alimony is the length of the marriage. There are three main categories used: “short-term,” “moderate-term,” and “long-term.” A short-term marriage is one that lasted less than 7 years. A moderate-term marriage is one that lasted more than 7 years, but less than 17. A marriage longer than 17 years is considered long-term.
Permanent alimony is usually awarded after a long-term marriage if the Court finds an award is appropriate. Permanent alimony is less likely in a moderate or short-term marriage, absent exceptional circumstances. Some examples include a debilitating illness or disability that began during the marriage.
As you can imagine, the process of securing alimony is one that can be very complex and complicated. This is why it is vital to work with a skilled and capable Orlando alimony attorney who is familiar and thoroughly knowledgeable in this area of family law.Modification or Termination
Alimony in Florida is normally modifiable in amount and sometimes duration, depending on the type of alimony originally awarded. However, alimony is not modifiable if the original judgment did not grant any. For a modification to be granted, there must be permanent, substantial involuntary conditions that occur. Some conditions include, but are not limited to, health issues, a raise, inheritance, the payee gets remarried, or long-term unemployment. It is crucial that the Court is informed of these changes, so that a judge may determine the appropriate remedy. Without the guidance of a seasoned family law attorney, you may subject yourself to sanctions from the Court and the alimony may not be modified. Along with our expertise in establishing alimony, our firm is skilled in their ability to have your alimony payment plan adjusted to best suit both parties’ needs.Aggressive Representation in Alimony Matters on Behalf of Central Florida Clients
Our alimony attorneys understand that when couples divorce, one party may not have the skills or experience to enter a financially stable career. Transitioning from married life to single life can be extremely difficult, not only emotionally, but financially as well. You may need help so that you can attend job training courses or further your education in order to secure employment. Or, you may be the one who is being requested to pay alimony, and feel that your ex-spouse is not entitled to spousal support. Whatever the situation may be, we can help.Contact Adams & Luka Now
Issues regarding alimony are rarely approached in a friendly manner; in fact, issues regarding spousal support are typically some of the most bitterly contested when a couple decides to divorce. If you are a spouse seeking alimony, or are being asked to pay alimony or support to your spouse, we will carefully review your case and work with you to reach your desired outcome. We understand how difficult divorce and all of the issues regarding your family can be. Call us today for a free consultation at 407-872-0303 or 352-357-4084.