Alimony Lawyer in Orlando Florida Provides an [Easy] STEP-BY-STEP Guide to Alimony in Florida
Orlando Alimony Lawyer Introduction
Alimony is typically defined as financial assistance provided by one spouse to the other. Alimony can be received either during or after a divorce or both. Either a husband or a wife may receive alimony in Florida. Alimony can have a significant impact upon you and your family during and after a divorce. Alimony can be a complex issue in a Florida divorce. It is vital that you contact an experienced, professional, and ethical divorce lawyer. As an experienced divorce attorney in Orlando, I have extensive experience in representing clients in divorce with complicated alimony issues.
I will provide you with a step-by-step guide to Alimony in Florida.
Step One – Need for Alimony
Our Florida divorce courts begin an analysis of alimony by examining a spouse’s need for financial support. A spouse’s need for alimony should be evidenced by his or her financial affidavit. The financial affidavit lists a spouse’s income, expenses, assets, and debts.
Step Two – Ability to Pay Alimony
If one spouse has a need for alimony, there must be an ability of the other spouse to provide the financial support. A spouse’s ability to pay alimony should also be evidenced by his or financial affidavit.
Step Three – Alimony Amount
This third step is when a court needs to determine what type of alimony how much alimony would be appropriate. There is a list of factors courts will consider that can be found in Florida Statute 61.08 as follows:
(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.
Step Four – Marriage Length
Florida has what is called a rebuttable presumption, and makes a distinction among marriages by their length as follows:
- Less than 7 years is a short-term marriage
- More than 7 and less than 17 years is a moderate-term marriage
- 17 years or more is a long-term marriage
The length of the marriage is defined as the date you are married up to the date of filing a petition for divorce.
Step Five – Alimony Type
There are four types of alimony specified in Florida Statute 61.08 as follows:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony – not modifiable
- Rehabilitative alimony – modifiable
- Durational alimony – modifiable
- Permanent alimony – modifiable
Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to help the spouse who needs financial assistance to make the difficult transition from married life to single life. The purpose is to help a spouse with legitimate, identifiable short-term needs.
Two of the most important terms of bridge-the-gap alimony are 1) it cannot exceed a length of 2 years, and 2) neither the length nor amount of alimony can be modified.
This means that if the court awards your spouse bridge-the-gap alimony for a period of two years, you will pay alimony to your spouse for two years. If your spouse gets a great job or gets an inheritance or receives a large sum of money as a gift, you will still have to pay the alimony because it cannot be modified.
Rehabilitative alimony is designed to help a spouse establish the ability to become self-supporting. This means redeveloping previous skills or getting more education, training, or work experience to develop employment skills or credentials.
The most important requirement for rehabilitative alimony is that there must be a specific, defined plan that will be included as part of the court’s order awarding rehabilitative alimony. This plan must detail the amount of time and resources needed to complete the plan, such as classes, tuition, training, etc.
Rehabilitative alimony can be modified or terminated if the spouse receiving the alimony is not following the plan or has completed the plan.
Durational alimony is designed for those situations when permanent alimony may not be appropriate. The purpose is to provide a spouse with economic help for a specified amount of time.
One of the most important terms of durational alimony is that the length of the award cannot exceed the length of the marriage. So, if you were married for 10 years, durational alimony cannot last for longer than 10 years.
Permanent Alimony is designed to provide a spouse with the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage, if they lack the financial ability to meet their own needs and necessities. Permanent alimony can be awarded for any length of marriage so long as it is appropriate under the circumstances.
For example, if you were married for 6 years, and you think you need permanent alimony, the court is going to require you to demonstrate and prove that there are exceptional circumstances justifying an award of permanent alimony.
Alimony and Taxes
The Internal Revenue Service has a chapter that deals with alimony and taxes. Publication 17, chapter 18 specifies what qualifies as alimony payments and what does not. In addition, it shares with you how to deduct the alimony you pay or report the alimony you receive.
Contact an Orlando Alimony Lawyer Today!
Alimony and spousal support can be hotly contested issues in a divorce. Whether you want alimony or you think you might have to pay alimony, as an Orlando alimony attorney, I can help you. Call me today at (407) 872-3161 or fill out an online form here.
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