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How Alimony Works in Florida
People often believe that alimony is automatically given in all divorces. In Florida, alimony is based on the need of the individual requesting alimony and the ability to pay of the other individual. There are other factors that can be considered in the determination of alimony being awarded in a Divorce.
As a top-rated Orlando law firm with expert alimony attorneys, Longwell Lawyers provides exceptional legal counsel for individuals in need of representation for alimony. Established in 1993, the Orlando law firm of Longwell Lawyers understands how to effectively handle any family law matter.
Whether you are facing a divorce, child support matter, child custody matter, modification, paternity action, alimony matter, pre-nuptial matter, or post-nuptial matter, it is important to speak with an Orlando family law attorney who knows how to help you. Contact Longwell Lawyers for a free consultation.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony is only handled in divorce (Dissolution of Marriage) proceedings. A divorce proceeding will cover the distribution of assets and liabilities, child custody, child support, alimony, and/or attorney’s fees, if applicable.
For more information regarding Divorce, click here.
Calculating Alimony in Florida
In order to determine if (and how much/for how long) Alimony should be awarded in a case, there must be a determination as to whether either party has an actual need for alimony and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony to the requesting party. As of January 1, 2019, alimony was no longer tax deductible to the individual paying the alimony and taxable as income to the individual receiving alimony.
The Courts will rely on the following factors listed in Florida Statute 61.08 when determining and considering an alimony award:
(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, childcare, 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.
Types of Alimony
For purposes of determining alimony, the length of the marriage is considered. A short-term marriage is a marriage of less than 7 years, a moderate-term marriage is a marriage of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years, and a long-term marriage is a marriage of 17 years or greater. The length of a marriage is considered from date of marriage until the date of filing of the divorce.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony is to assist an individual to make a transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony may not exceed 2 years. The amount and duration of bridge-the-gap alimony cannot be modified. Bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving alimony
- Rehabilitative alimony is to assist an individual in establishing the capacity for self-support through the redevelopment of previous skills or credentials or to obtain education, training, or work experience necessary to develop appropriate employment skills. To receive rehabilitative alimony, there must be a specific and defined rehabilitative plan. Rehabilitative alimony can be modified or terminated based on a substantial change in circumstances, noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan, or completion of the rehabilitative plan.
- Durational alimony may be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. The purpose of durational alimony is to provide an individual with financial assistance for a set period of time following a short term or moderate term marriage or following a long-term marriage but there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis. Durational alimony may not exceed the length of marriage. The amount of durational alimony may be modified or terminated based on a substantial change in circumstances. The length of durational alimony may not be modified except under certain circumstances. Durational alimony terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving alimony.
- Permanent alimony may be awarded to an individual 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 long-term marriage. Permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. Permanent alimony may be modified or terminated based on a substantial change in circumstances or if the individual receiving alimony is in a supportive relationship.
If alimony is awarded to an individual, the amount awarded may not leave the individual paying alimony with significantly less net income than the net income of the individual receiving alimony.
For any type of family law matter in Orlando and all Central Florida, including Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, Lake, Sumter, Polk, and Volusia Counties, the attorneys at Longwell Lawyers know how to help you. We have attorneys and staff available who are fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Greek and English. Please contact Longwell Lawyers for a free consultation at 407-426-5757.
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