Marital and Family Law Attorney
It is not uncommon for there to be a disparity in the income of married spouses, with one spouse earning far more than the other. Additionally, in many marriages, one spouse will stop working to stay at home to take care of the children and household while the other spouse works outside of the home. When a marriage between spouses with unequal income ends, therefore, it is not uncommon for the lesser-earning spouse to seek alimony. If you are in the process of considering a divorce, it is advisable to speak to an attorney to determine whether you or your spouse may be awarded alimony and to assess what other impacts a divorce may have on you financially. Attorney Sandy T. Fox is well-versed in what it takes to obtain favorable results in divorce actions, and he can help you fight to protect your interests. Mr. Fox is a Florida Bar Board Certified specialist in Marital & Family Law, and he regularly represents parties in divorce actions involving alimony requests.
- Miami Attorneys Representing Spouses in Divorce Actions
- Who Is Eligible to Obtain Alimony?
- How Long Does Alimony Last?
- How Is Alimony Calculated?
- Does the Remarriage or Death of a Party Affect Alimony?
Either spouse in a Florida divorce action may be eligible to obtain alimony. The party seeking alimony must prove their need for it, as well as the other party's ability to make alimony payments. In determining whether alimony should be granted, the court will evaluate numerous factors, including the standard of living that the spouses appreciated during the marriage, the length of the marriage, and the age and emotional and physical health of each party. The court will also consider each party’s financial resources, assets, and liabilities, their sources of income and earning potential, and what each party contributed to the marriage. Additionally, the court may also contemplate which party primarily cares for any minor children the couple shares. Finally, a court may also weigh whether either party committed adultery, the circumstances surrounding the adultery, and any other factor it deems relevant.
How long alimony lasts depends on what type of alimony is awarded. In Florida, the law allows for bridge-the-gap, durational, and rehabilitative temporary alimony or any combination of the forms. Additionally, alimony may consist of a lump sum or periodic payments. Bridge-the-gap alimony is meant to help a person transition from being married to single life by providing the funds needed to resume life without a spouse. Rehabilitative alimony is similar to bridge-the-gap alimony, in that it is designed to aid a party in the pursuit of skills or training needed to earn an income.
Durational alimony is usually awarded in marriages of a short duration, which is presumed to be a marriage of fewer than ten years, or a moderate-term marriage, which is a marriage that lasted more than ten years but less than twenty. It may be granted in long term marriages, though, which are marriages of twenty years are more. The goal of durational alimony is to provide a party with financial assistance for a set time period.
Alimony is calculated on a case-by-case basis, and there is no set formula in Florida for determining what constitutes an appropriate amount. Rather, in calculating alimony, the court will usually consider the monthly income and expenses of each party to assess the needs of the party seeking support and the ability of the spouse from whom support is sought to pay. The court will also consider the length of the marriage and other factors, such as the overall financial status of the parties and the tax ramifications of an alimony award, in determining an appropriate amount.
Remarriage of the party receiving alimony results in the termination of bridge-the-gap and durational alimony. Notably, the marriage of the person paying alimony will not affect his or her obligation. The death of either party will also result in the termination of bridge-the-gap and durational alimony. Additionally, parties may seek modifications of rehabilitative and durational alimony if they demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances. Rehabilitative alimony may also be modified or terminated if the party receiving such alimony completes or fails to comply with the rehabilitative plan. Bridge-the-gap alimony cannot be modified.
It is important for people seeking a divorce to understand their rights with regard to alimony, as an adverse ruling might permanently impact their financial health. If you or your spouse intend to file for divorce, the knowledgeable Miami divorce attorneys of the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A., can guide you through the process and help you to seek the best outcome available under the circumstances. Our office is in Aventura, and we have ample experience helping people with divorce matters in Miami. You can reach us to set up a consultation by calling 800.596.0579 or using our online form.