Lawyers and judges frequently refer to Alimony as maintenance. It is the sum of money that a court grants one spouse to the other as ongoing maintenance following a divorce. Many attorneys will provide lengthy justifications regarding whether maintenance is necessary in your case. Examining some of the most crucial considerations courts consider when deciding on spousal Support, such as the length of the marriage, income, ability to pay, and need is a quick method to gauge this.
Who Determines Spousal Maintenance and How
How Our Lawyers Examine Spousal Maintenance
Early on, we obtain a precise picture of our client’s income and expenses to predict how those figures would change following their divorce. This helps us guide our clients through their
proceedings. We also consider the other party’s financial capability. This assists us in effectively resolving conflicts and establishing expectations.
What Judges Examine Alimony Payments
Judges take into account several variables while establishing the right amount for custody. A custody calculator for Florida provides an approximate idea of what the maintenance would entail in addition to the defined standards outlined in the Florida Revised Statutes. Only the judge will determine the amount of Alimony if any. The judge is not bound to the calculator results, and these results should only be used as a “more probable” scenario. The calculator offers a broad range, but the judge ultimately has the authority and discretion to decide based on the language of Florida maintenance statutes. The parties may also agree on a different amount. The judge will consider several issues, including the length of the marriage, financial stability, way of life, educational background, and others.
Time Spent Married
The longer your marriage, the more likely you may receive Alimony or spousal Support. A “long-term” marriage has been together for 20 years. Long-term marriages may be eligible for Spousal Support or Permanent Maintenance.
For example, Jane and John have been married for 25 years, but Jane has not worked outside the home during that time. John, on the other hand, has a successful career as a doctor. In this case, the length of the marriage would be a factor in determining if and how much alimony Jane would receive.
The spouse required to pay spousal maintenance must have the resources to do so, regardless of how long you have been married. Even in a long-term marriage, the maintenance award may be negligible or modest if earnings are insufficient.
For instance, if one spouse has a higher income or earning potential than the other, that spouse may be required to pay alimony. For example, Sarah and Mark have been married for 10 years. Sarah has a part-time job making $20,000 a year, while Mark has a full-time job making $100,000 a year. In this case, Mark’s higher income would be a factor in determining alimony.
Standard of Living:
The standard of living established during the marriage is another factor in determining alimony. If one spouse has a significantly higher standard of living than the other, that spouse may be required to pay alimony to maintain that standard of living.
For example, Alex and Samantha have been married for 15 years. During that time, Alex has had a successful career as a lawyer, while Samantha has worked part-time and cared for their children. If they were to divorce, Samantha might be entitled to alimony to maintain her accustomed lifestyle during the marriage.
Overall, these factors, along with other considerations, such as the age and health of each spouse, the contributions each spouse made to the marriage, and any other relevant circumstances, are considered when determining alimony in Florida.
Is Alimony Always Awarded?
Alimony is not automatic in Florida. Whether or not alimony is awarded depends on a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage, the income and earning potential of each spouse, and the standard of living established during the marriage. In general, alimony is intended to help the lower-earning spouse maintain a standard of living similar to what they enjoyed during the marriage.
Types of Alimony in Florida:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony: This type of alimony is intended to help the lower-earning spouse transition from being married to single. It is usually awarded for a short period and cannot be modified once established.
- Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony is intended to help the lower-earning spouse obtain the education or training needed to become self-supporting. It is usually awarded for a specific period of time and can be modified if circumstances change.
- Durational alimony: This type of alimony is awarded for a set period of time and is intended to provide financial support for the lower-earning spouse. At the same time, they get back on their feet.
- Permanent alimony: This type of alimony is awarded when the marriage is long-term and the lower-earning spouse cannot become self-supporting. It is intended to provide ongoing financial support to the lower-earning spouse.
An example of a situation where alimony may be awarded is when one spouse has been out of the workforce for a long time and has little earning potential. For instance, let’s say that John and Jane have been married for 20 years, and during that time, Jane has been a stay-at-home parent while John has worked as a successful executive. If John were to file for divorce, Jane may be entitled to alimony to help her maintain a similar standard of living to what she enjoyed during the marriage. In this case, rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to help Jane obtain the education or training she needs to become self-supporting.
Another example where alimony may be awarded is when one spouse has been financially dependent on the other throughout the marriage. For example, let’s say that Sarah and Mark have been married for 15 years, during which time Mark has been the primary breadwinner while Sarah has worked part-time and taken care of their children. If Mark were to file for divorce, Sarah might be entitled to alimony to help her maintain the standard of living she enjoyed during the marriage. In this case, durational alimony may be awarded to provide Sarah with financial support while she gets back on her feet.
Overall, alimony in Florida is not automatic but is awarded based on various factors related to the marriage’s circumstances and each spouse’s financial situation.
Florida Alimony Conclusion
In conclusion,alimony in Florida is an important aspect of a divorce settlement. It provides financial support to the non-wage earning spouse or a spouse who earns less than the other. Alimony can be permanent, rehabilitative, bridge-the-gap and durational. In determining alimony, the court will consider a variety of factors and will make sure that the award is fair and reasonable.