Divorce is often devastating both emotionally and financially.
Having to go through property division and splitting up marital assets is enough to make anyone feel the heavy burden of divorce.
When one spouse requests alimony payments, an already complex divorce can get even more complicated… and even downright ugly.
Whether you need spousal support or you’re the one facing possible alimony payments, a Miami alimony lawyer at our family law firm can help ensure you’re treated fairly during the divorce process.
What is the Purpose of Alimony?
The terms “alimony” and “spousal support” are interchangeable, and they refer to the financial provision paid from one spouse to another after legal separation or divorce.
Florida family and marital law courts award alimony orders when one spouse has a financial need for support, and the other spouse has an ability to help with that need.
How Florida Courts Determine Alimony
The first step in getting alimony awarded in marital and family law matters is to request spousal support through a petition to the court.
There are two main questions Florida courts will consider the answers to when determining alimony:
- Does the requesting spouse need financial support?
- Can the paying spouse afford to pay alimony?
Once it’s determined that the need for support is valid and alimony payments are possible, some other factors are considered before the amount, and terms of the spousal support are ordered.
Other Factors Considered When Alimony is Requested
- How long the couple was married
- The standard of living when married
- The financial resources and earning capabilities of each spouse
- The education level, health, and age of each spouse
- Monetary burdens placed disproportionately on one spouse, such as childcare
According to Florida law, alimony can be negotiated in an out-of-court settlement, through mediation services, or by a judge when a divorce trial concludes. The type of alimony ordered is also typically the judge’s decision if the parties cannot come to an agreement.
Types of Spousal Support
The type of alimony a spouse is granted depends on the factors discussed. Different categories of spousal support range in amount and duration.
When the receiving spouse needs financial needs met for a short period, bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded to help them get back on their feet.
This alimony is short-term, and payments aren’t made for more than two years.
While a bit longer than bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony is a short-term alimony order that provides limited support to the receiving spouse.
Rehabilitative alimony is typical in situations where the receiving space needs to finish some education or employment training to earn wages that would bring their standard of living up.
The next form of alimony is durational. Durational alimony is typically awarded for a set time that does not exceed the number of years the couple was married.
A permanent alimony order is usually only awarded in certain situations where one spouse is highly disadvantaged by the divorce due to less education, financial resources, and earning capabilities than the other spouse.
Permanent alimony is most common when lengthier marriages end in divorce. Typically, alimony can be permanent only if the marriage lasted more than 17 years.
A Miami divorce lawyer can examine your alimony case and help you determine which type of alimony is appropriate for your situation.
Get Legal Assistance from a Miami Alimony Attorney
When you’re faced with the overwhelming situation of a divorce, emotions, and stress are at high levels.
Family law issues are especially challenging and emotional. Let one of our Miami divorce lawyers help you navigate the complex waters of divorce and marital settlement agreements so you can be sure you’re taken care of post-divorce.