Alimony is not awarded in every divorce case in Florida. The spouse seeking alimony must show that there is both a need for alimony and that the other spouse has the ability to make the alimony payments before a Court will likely award alimony.
Types of Alimony
In the State of Florida, there are six types of alimony:
Temporary Alimony is usually awarded to keep the household bills paid during the duration of the divorce case.
Durational Alimony provides alimony to a party in order to provide economic assistance for a specified period of time. This may not exceed the length of the marriage.
Bridge the Gap Alimony
Bridge the Gap Alimony allows a party to make the transition from being married to being single but does not last for an extended period, but is short term in nature, usually for a number of months.
Lump Sum Alimony
Lump Sum Alimony is a one-time payment by the payor spouse to the needy spouse, which is paid in the form of money or property.
Rehabilitative Alimony is awarded for a limited period of time to allow the needy spouse to become self sufficient.
These funds are used to develop employment skills, or complete specific education to help the needy spouse to gain financial independence.
Permanent Alimony spousal support continues until one of the spouses dies or the payee spouse remarries or cohabits in a supportive relationship.
Factors Affecting Alimony
Courts consider a number of factors to determine whether a spouse is entitled to alimony including the financial need of the payee and the financial ability of the payor, the duration of the marriage, the earning capacity of each spouse, how each party contributed to the family in terms of career building, child rearing, and other aspects of the marriage, age of both spouses and the health of both parties.
One of the most important factors when determining the possibility of permanent alimony is the length of the marriage. There are three main categories used: “short-term,” “moderate-term,” and “long-term.” A short-term marriage is one that lasted less than 7 years. A moderate- term marriage is one that lasted more than 7 years, but less than 17. A marriage longer than 17 years is considered long-term.
Permanent alimony is usually awarded after a long-term marriage if the Court finds an award is needed. Permanent alimony is less likely in a moderate or short-term marriage, except in exceptional circumstances, for example, the needy spouse has a serious illness or a disability that began during the marriage.
The process of obtaining alimony for a needy spouse is frequently bitterly contested by the other spouse. Thus, it is essential that the party seeking alimony use an experienced Sarasota alimony attorney who is familiar with all the complexities of alimony in Florida.
Modification or Termination of Alimony
Alimony in Florida is normally modifiable in amount and sometimes in duration, depending on the type of alimony originally awarded. However, alimony is never modifiable if the original judgment did not award any alimony at all.
For a modification to be granted, there must be permanent, substantial involuntary change of circumstances, for example, a party develops a serious illness, gets a huge raise, receives a large inheritance or the payee gets remarried. It is essential that the judge is informed of these changes, so that the Court may determine the appropriate remedy.
Mr. Leininger has over 40 years of experience dealing with Alimony in Court. Let him use his vast experience to fight for you before the Court. Call the law office of Attorney William J Leininger at 941-727-5555 or contact us online to schedule your Free Consultation. Mr. Leininger offers appointments on Monday through Saturday, including some evenings. What have you got to lose?
Other Practice Areas: