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Your Florida Alimony Questions Answered

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One of the central concerns of anyone getting a divorce is how the financial settlement will work out.  How will the property settlement go, and how will two households function individually going forward?  Will one spouse receive support payments from the other?  If so, why, how much and for how long? To gauge your expectations accurately, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with Florida law on these issues.

Why is alimony ever awarded? 

A judge must consider any request for alimony by looking at the financial situation of each partner post-divorce.  The goal is to preclude serious financial hardship in one new household while the other thrives. In addition to the financial and earning situation of both spouses, a judge will consider the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, the tax implications of alimony, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of each individual, and the contributions of each partner to the marriage.

How does alimony work? 

There are three basic types of alimony, each designed for different circumstances. The support may be paid in a lump sum, although it is more common for it to arrive in monthly installments.

Bridge-the-Gap alimony is intended to assist the lesser-earning spouse with short-term needs, and cannot last beyond two years.

Rehabilitative alimony addresses the educational or training needs necessary to enter, re-enter, or advance in the workplace so that eventually one becomes self-reliant.  Durational alimony is a more substantial financial plan in which the higher earning spouse pays a sum to the lesser earning one for a number of years, not longer than the length of the marriage.  For marriages that survived 17+ years, the payments continue until death or remarriage.  Permanent alimony is awarded when no other type of alimony seems appropriate for the circumstances, and, like the name suggests, is permanent.  While the length of the marriage is considered, other factors, such as medical needs, may weigh heavier in the mind of the judge.

Do men always get stuck paying and women enjoy receiving alimony? 

We’ve evolved beyond the days of gender impacting alimony determinations. Either party may request alimony and the court will weigh the factors regardless of gender.

Will alimony be in order even if the recipient cheated during the marriage? 

The court is not in the business of punishing bad behavior during a marriage.  That being said, if infidelity resulted in the expenditure of marital resources, it could impact the amount of spousal support.

The Best Outcomes for You 

At WiseLieberman, our experienced Boca Raton family attorneys are committed to working diligently in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.  To discuss the possibilities, contact our office for a confidential consultation today.

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