Alimony & Spousal Support
Some divorces in South Florida will deal with alimony issues, which can be difficult to negotiate and resolve. It can be difficult to determine whether a spouse will need alimony or whether the other will have the ability to pay it. Alimony can also take several forms, and there are multiple factors courts consider to determine whether an award of alimony is appropriate. The attorneys at PurLaw can help you understand whether alimony might be at issue in your case and the potential ramifications it might have, including whether you might receive it or be ordered to pay it.
Alimony is also called spousal maintenance in Florida. If one spouse requests it, the court might or might not order it. An award of alimony is not automatic simply because a spouse requests the court to award it. Instead, the court will consider multiple factors to decide whether or not to grant a request for spousal maintenance. The attorneys at PurLaw can devise a sound legal strategy in your case whether you are requesting alimony or might be ordered to pay it.
Types of Alimony in Florida
Spousal maintenance can take several forms. It can be ordered to be paid as a lump sum, for a specific term, or permanently. For example, a lower-earning spouse who is financially dependent on the other spouse might receive an award of rehabilitative alimony to cover their tuition and living expenses while they attend college for a limited time until they can become self-sufficient.
In addition to rehabilitative alimony, the following types of alimony might be awarded based on the facts and circumstances:
• Durational alimony – This form of alimony might be awarded over a set period instead of permanently. Courts generally avoid ordering permanent alimony except when exceptional circumstances are present, especially when a case involves a marriage that has lasted for a short or medium time. Durational alimony might be awarded when there is a substantial disparity between the incomes of each spouse but exceptional circumstances aren’t present.
• Bridge-the-gap alimony – Bridge-the-gap alimony might be awarded to the financially dependent spouse to help them transition from being married to being single without suffering severe financial consequences. This type of alimony is generally only awarded for a short period of up to two years to allow the dependent spouse to become self-sufficient.
• Permanent alimony – Permanent alimony might be awarded when the spouses are ending a long marriage and it won’t be possible for the lower-earning spouse to become self-sufficient through education. This type of alimony is meant to help the dependent spouse maintain their standard of living following the divorce.
How Alimony Disputes Might Be Resolved
Whether a spouse needs alimony, its amount, and its duration can also be affected by the property division. The attorneys at PurLaw can advise you about whether making concessions on the division of property in exchange for lower or better alimony might be in your interests. In general, it is best to try to resolve alimony issues through negotiation rather than leaving the decisions up to the court. Our attorneys will strive to resolve the issues in your case and help you understand the potential tax ramifications that you might face.
The attorneys at PurLaw represent people throughout South Florida and can help you understand the various factors that might affect alimony in your case. Call us today to request a consultation to learn more.