Divorce is frequently the most trying time in a person's life, and worrying about financial survival following divorce is a major source of stress for each member of a divorcing couple. This is especially true if one member of the couple has historically been the primary breadwinner. The lower-earning or non-earning spouse may be concerned about how they will make ends meet.
No matter which end of the financial spectrum you're on, if you're currently searching for a divorce lawyer in Florida, you probably have some questions about alimony (also known as spousal support).
Choose a Divorce Lawyer You Can Trust to Represent Your Interests: Call Us at Miami Family Law Group, PLLC Today
Miami Family Law Group, PLLC has over 25 years of experience serving families in Miami. We strive to assist our clients with all aspects of the divorce and separation processes, including conflict resolution, therapist referrals, and finance management referrals. We will help you divorce yourself from the fight and find peace of mind as you make a fresh start.
Call us today at Miami Family Law Group, PLLC at 305-520-7874 or contact us online to schedule a strategy session for legal advice with a legal separation attorney in Miami, FL.
What Are the New Changes in Florida's Alimony Laws?
Spousal support, or alimony, is a form of financial support that can be a monthly, weekly, bi-weekly, or lump sum payment that one spouse (ex-spouse) must give the other.
In 2019, the Florida courts changed the rules concerning alimony. Now, marriage duration is the primary method for calculating spousal support, with three different categories:
- Short-Term: Under seven years
- Mid-Range: Between seven years and 17 years
- Long-Term: Marriages for 17 years or longer
Essentially, the longer you've been married, the longer you'll have to pay alimony.
What Are the Different Types of Florida Alimony?
Florida law includes five different types of alimony. Some people may negotiate and agree upon an amount amicably. In other cases where there is no agreement, a judge must evaluate the case and decide.
1. Permanent Alimony
The Florida courts will award permanent alimony to spouses who require financial support and cannot earn it on their own, either now or in the future. For example, someone permanently disabled may receive this type of support.
2. Temporary Alimony
You may receive temporary alimony during your divorce proceedings if you cannot maintain your previous lifestyle without financial assistance, provided the lifestyle wasn't beyond your means (i.e., you weren't overspending while the marriage was intact).
3. Rehabilitative Alimony
Rehabilitative alimony is for spouses in the process of becoming financially independent. The courts require the person seeking support to submit a plan detailing the steps they'll take to become self-sufficient. For example, someone going back to school could show the courts their acceptance letter and estimated graduation date. After the person completes their plan, they will no longer receive the support.
4. Durational Alimony
Durational alimony cannot last any longer than the length of the marriage. Although it's similar to rehabilitative alimony, the person seeking financial support doesn't have to show the courts any plan of action.
5. Bridge-the-Gap Alimony
Florida is one of the few states that offers bridge-the-gap alimony, which only lasts for up to two years. The person seeking this type of alimony will use it to support the transition from married life to being independent again.
How Does the Florida Court Calculate Spousal Support?
The Florida courts don't follow a specific formula when calculating spousal support. However, they will first determine two primary factors:
- The financial obligations and need of the spouse seeking support; and
- The ability of the other spouse to provide financial support.
Then, the courts will consider additional information, including:
- Both spouses' income sources and financial resources
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouses' overall health and wellbeing
- The level of employability, education, and skills of each spouse
- How much each spouse contributed to the marriage in terms of child care, career obligations, and familial obligations
- Parental responsibility, child custody, and visitation
- The tax implications of spousal support on both sides
- “Any factor” the courts deem is essential to determining alimony
As you can see, the courts have a lot of discretion in awarding alimony amounts, which is why you should have a divorce attorney on your side to protect your interests.
Miami Family Law Group, PLLC: Your “Divorce Lawyers Near Me”
Look no further than Miami Family Law Group, PLLC if you're searching for "divorce lawyers near me" and have questions about alimony as you prepare for divorce. We are family-oriented divorce attorneys who will work with you to protect your rights and ensure you receive a fair settlement in your divorce.
Call us at Miami Family Law Group, PLLC at 305-520-7874 in Miami, Florida, to schedule your strategy session with our legal team today.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient's state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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