Kissimmee Alimony Lawyer
One question most people have when they are going through a divorce in Kissimmee is whether or not they will receive and/or have to pay alimony to their spouse. Alimony is often times once of the most contested issues between spouses during a divorce and may even be the sole reason the parties are not able to obtain an uncontested divorce or require the involvement of attorneys to settle their case. Alimony is an important issue in many divorces, and if alimony is applicable in your case, an experienced Kissimmee alimony attorney can make the difference on how much alimony you receive or pay.
Alimony may be one of the most misunderstood aspect of divorce cases in Kissimmee. With divorces becoming increasingly common, everyone knows someone who has been involved in a divorce, and horror stories are often spread about the experience. It is not uncommon to hear of someone in a divorce complaining that their spouses received “everything” in the divorce and the judge left them with “nothing,” or other results that seem shockingly unfair to the party telling the story. These stories often lead to many misconceptions people have about divorces, which can affect the decisions they make throughout the divorce process.
- The first misconception is that only women receive alimony and only men are required to pay alimony. While this was the case historically, following groundbreaking gender equality cases in the Supreme Court of the United States, family laws, including divorce laws, are not allowed to favor one party over the other on the basis of gender. In the past, gender roles in our society often resulted in wives staying home with the children and being homemakers, while husbands worked outside of the home as the breadwinners. Same-sex couples were not even allowed to marry or divorce. Thankfully, our laws now recognize how outdated and inapplicable these stereotypes have become and reflect these changes with gender-neutral language. Gender no longer plays a role in determining which spouse will have to pay alimony and which spouse may be able to receive it.
- The second misconception is that alimony applies to every case. This is also not true. Some general situations where alimony may not apply can include marriages of a short duration, marriages where both spouses have the resources to be self-supporting once the marriage is dissolved, or marriages were both spouses have similar income levels. Alimony will not be awarded in Kissimmee unless it is requested by one of the parties, the judge determines that the requesting party needs the alimony, and the other spouse has the ability to pay the alimony. The parties’ needs and ability to pay will primarily be determined using the financial affidavits and the documents providing during mandatory disclosure. Some factors the court will consider when deciding alimony include the standard of living maintained during the marriage, how long the marriage lasted, each party’s age, physical, and emotional conditions, each party’s financial resources, the parties’ marital and nonmarital assets, each party’s education, vocational skills, employability, and earning capacity, the contributions each party made during the marriage, financial responsibilities for minor children, and any other factor the court considers necessary to do equity and justice.
- The third misconception is that one spouse will be required to pay almost all of their income to the other spouse, leaving the payor spouse with nothing while the receiving spouse lives comfortably. Under Florida law, the payor spouse cannot be left with significantly less net income than the receiving spouse unless the court finds exceptional circumstances to do so. There is case law in Florida stating neither spouse should pass from prosperity to misfortune nor from misfortune to prosperity. A divorce should not be looked at as a windfall or result in one spouse being left in poverty and unable to meet their basic needs, as neither result is realistic to expect in Kissimmee.
- The fourth misconception is that all alimony is the same. There are actually several different types of alimony in Kissimmee. Temporary alimony, or alimony pendente lite is intended to ensure bills will continue to be paid and financial obligations of the spouses met only while the divorce action is pending. Bridge-the-gap alimony assists a spouse in need for a short time as the spouse transitions from married to single life. Rehabilitative Alimony assists a spouse with a specific rehabilitative plan as they work towards becoming self-supporting. Durational alimony is ordered for a specified period of time that cannot last longer than the marriage. Permanent alimony is normally only available in marriages that lasted over seventeen years and is rare in marriages lasting less than seventeen years. While permanent alimony may seem like it lasts forever, it can be modified in certain circumstances.
If you are getting a divorce in Kissimmee or need to modify or terminate alimony you are paying in Kissimmee, contact My Florida Family Lawn Firm, Adams and Luka, P.A., to have a free consultation with one of our family attorneys. During the initial consultation, our experienced family attorneys can answer any questions to may have regarding alimony and help you get a realistic expectation of how alimony may apply to you. Our family attorneys understand what outcomes may be likely in Kissimmee regarding alimony and will develop a legal strategy unique to your situation to help best resolve your case. Call us 24/7at 407-872-0303 or 352-357-4084 for your free consultation.