Helping you and your spouse come to agreement on spousal support
The concept of alimony goes back to English ecclesiastical courts, at a time when a couple could not divorce, but could be legally separated. As such, the husband was obligated to support his wife financially.
Today, Florida courts regard alimony (spousal support or “maintenance,”) as a way to ease the financial burden of the spouse who made lower wages or no wages following a divorce. Experienced Sarasota alimony lawyers know that spousal support is a divisive issue and work hard to help parties come up with a solution that is fair and reasonable.
Alimony is determined by a number of factors
In a nutshell, the court looks at one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay, regardless of whether it is the husband or the wife. In determining what is appropriate and fair, Florida court considers:
How long you were married: For instance, if the marriage lasted only a few years, there is a low probability of an award of spousal support. If the marriage was long-term (in Florida, 17 or more years), the probability is high.
Financial resources of the spouse seeking alimony: What sources of income, including wages and investments, does that spouse have?
Marital standard of living: Did you and your spouse enjoy a high standard of living during your marriage? It will be taken into consideration when determining alimony.
Educational background, skills and earning capacity: Does a spouse need additional education or training to obtain employment and provide for themselves?
The age, physical and emotional health of each spouse: This affects both need for support and ability to pay.
Child support: How much child support is being provided may affect how much, if any, spousal support is awarded.
If spousal support or maintenance is deemed necessary, the court may award one of the following types of alimony:
Temporary: If awarded, it only covers the period of time from the beginning of divorce proceedings to the finalization of orders.
Bridge-the-gap: Transitional alimony that gives a spouse time to adjust to life after divorce. The duration of the award is two years.
Durational: This type of alimony may be awarded when bridge-the-gap is inadequate, but the duration of this type of support cannot exceed the number of years married.
Rehabilitative: Designed to give a spouse time and resources to get the training needed to obtain adequate employment to provide for their own needs.
Permanent: If a spouse lacks the ability to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed during marriage, permanent support may be awarded. It terminates upon the remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony, or upon the death of either spouse.
Find an alimony solution that works for you
Whether you are seeking alimony or have concerns about needing to provide spousal support, we can help. To schedule a free, 30-minute telephone consultation with our experienced Sarasota divorce and alimony attorney, please contact us or call our office at (941) 556-7020.
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