Orlando Alimony Attorney
In Florida, a court can award alimony, which is often referred to as maintenance or spousal support, as part of a divorce order. A judge can also award temporary alimony during the process of a divorce. There are four types of alimony:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony
- Rehabilitative alimony
- Durational alimony
- Permanent alimony
Knowing And Protecting Your Rights
Alimony can be a complicated thing. Whether you expect to pay or receive alimony, it is important to know your legal rights — and protect those rights. If you need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney who understands alimony as it relates to you and your situation, talk to the law firm of Hancock & Associates, P.A., in Orlando and Tampa. Our Orlando alimony attorneys can help you make sure you are treated fairly with regard to your finances.
Maintenance: Factors To Consider
There are numerous factors to consider in a maintenance case. In helping you determine whether you may be ordered to pay or receive alimony (and if so, how much), we can answer important questions like:
- What will happen if I am not represented by an attorney during the divorce proceedings?
- What impact will the length of the marriage have?
- What if I need to modify my alimony because my income has changed?
- What if I or my spouse or ex-spouse is in the military?
- Do alimony and child support relate to one another?
Florida Alimony Factors
(a) The standard of living established during the marriage.
(b) The duration of the marriage.
(c) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
(d) The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
(e) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
(f) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
(g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
(h) The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
(i) All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
(j) Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
To the extent necessary to protect an award of alimony, the court may order any party who is ordered to pay alimony to purchase or maintain a life insurance policy or a bond, or to otherwise secure such alimony award with any other assets which may be suitable for that purpose.
Determination of Alimony
For purposes of determining alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years, a moderate-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years, and long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater. The length of a marriage is the period of time from the date of marriage until the date of filing of an action for dissolution of marriage.
Four Types of Alimony
1. Bridge-the-gap alimony
may be awarded to assist a party by providing support to allow the party to make a transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a party with legitimate identifiable short-term needs, and the length of an award may not exceed 2 years. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony shall not be modifiable in amount or duration.
2. Rehabilitative alimony
may be awarded to assist a party in establishing the capacity for self-support through either:
- The redevelopment of previous skills or credentials; or
- The acquisition of education, training, or work experience necessary to develop appropriate employment skills or credentials.
In order to award rehabilitative alimony, there must be a specific and defined rehabilitative plan which shall be included as a part of any order awarding rehabilitative alimony.
An award of rehabilitative alimony may be modified or terminated in accordance with s. 61.14 based upon a substantial change in circumstances, upon noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan, or upon completion of the rehabilitative plan.
3. Durational alimony
may be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. The purpose of durational alimony is to provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis. An award of durational alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. The amount of an award of durational alimony may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances in accordance with s. 61.14. However, the length of an award of durational alimony may not be modified except under exceptional circumstances and may not exceed the length of the marriage.
4. Permanent alimony
may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage. Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long duration if such an award is appropriate upon consideration of the factors set forth in subsection (2), following a marriage of moderate duration if such an award is appropriate based upon clear and convincing evidence after consideration of the factors set forth in subsection (2), or following a marriage of short duration if there are written findings of exceptional circumstances. In awarding permanent alimony, the court shall include a finding that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances of the parties. An award of permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. An award may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances or upon the existence of a supportive relationship in accordance with s. 61.14.
Talk To An Experienced Orlando Alimony Attorney
Every case is different. Contact us for a detailed case evaluation.