Sanford Alimony Lawyer
One of the first questions many people have in their divorce case in Sanford is related to alimony: whether they will be able to receive alimony, whether they will have to pay alimony, as well as how much and for how long. At times, people may even hesitate about whether or not they want to proceed with getting a divorce based on concerns they have surrounding alimony. Horror stories about alimony are often passed around, and many concerns are based on hearing information from other people who have gone through a divorce and were left paying their spouses the majority of their income while they are stuck living in poverty, or someone getting nothing in a divorce and being left without any means to care for themselves. Contacting an experienced Sanford Alimony Attorney can help you determine what is realistic to expect based on your individual circumstances without relying on information from other people that may or may not be accurate or apply to you.
Alimony can be a fairly complex legal issue. To be awarded alimony, you must request it from the court in your petition or counter-petition, which is the initial document filed to start a divorce case, or your first response if you are not the party starting the case. Alimony cannot be awarded unless the court makes a determination that one party is in need of alimony and the other party has the ability to pay. Each party’s financial affidavit and financial documents provided during mandatory disclosure are the primary source for determining their needs and ability to pay. After this initial determination of need and ability to pay is made, Florida law lists out factors for the courts to consider when awarding alimony. These factors 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 resources including both marital and nonmarital assets,
- each party’s education, vocational skills, employability, and earning capacity,
- the contributions each party made during the marriage including caring for children, homemaking, and supporting the other spouse during education and career building,
- financial responsibilities for minor children,
- and any other factor the court considers necessary to do equity and justice.
There are many different types of alimony, and knowing which type is most appropriate in your case can be critical.
- Temporary alimony will only last while the divorce is pending in the courts and is intended to ensure household bills are paid and both spouses have their immediate needs met during the divorce proceedings.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony is intended to assist a spouse for a short time to become self-supporting during the transition from married to single life. The receiving spouse must show their needs are legitimate, identifiable, and only last for a short period of time to be eligible for this type of alimony in Sanford.
- Rehabilitative alimony may also be used to provide a dependent spouse the support they need while they work towards becoming self-supporting. The dependent spouse would need to provide the court with a specific rehabilitative plan to be awarded rehabilitative alimony in Sanford.
- Durational Alimony is alimony that is ordered for a set time that cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
- Permanent alimony will only be awarded in Sanford if the court determines no other type of alimony is appropriate or fair under the circumstances. Permanent alimony is rare in marriages of either a short or moderate duration and is typically only considered for marriages lasting seventeen years or longer.
Knowing the requirements of each type of alimony is important, whether you are the party asking for alimony, or the party who would prefer not to pay. For example, if you were married for five years, you would be very unlikely to have a judge grant you permanent alimony. Hiring an experienced attorney to help you create a rehabilitative plan or identifiable needs for more short-term alimony would likely be a much more successful argument in front of the judge. Hiring an experienced attorney in Sanford can also help you know what you should agree to pay in a divorce. Understandably, most people want the divorce to be over as soon as possible, and may agree to give their spouse more than their spouse is entitled to in an effort to get the spouse to agree to settle the divorce as quickly as possible and not drag on a fight. While there are definite advantages to resolving your case without dragging it out unnecessarily, agreeing to pay more alimony or to continue alimony payments longer than necessary may end up costing you more in the long run than going to trial would. An experienced attorney in Sanford can help you avoid reaching a settlement agreement that is not in your best interest, or if settling is not possible, can put forth the best argument on your behalf in the courtroom.
If you are getting a divorce in Sanford or need to modify alimony already in place in Sanford, contact My Florida Family Lawn Firm, Adams and Luka, P.A., to have a free consultation with one of our family attorneys. Our family attorneys will be able to evaluate what types of alimony may be most appropriate in your situation, whether your spouse has any legal grounds to expect you to pay them alimony, or whether your case meets the legal criteria needed for a modification of alimony during your initial consultation. Our attorneys are available for your free consultation 24/7 at 407-872-0303 or 352-357-4084.