Understanding Alimony/Spousal Support in Florida

Alimony is an award of financial support from one spouse to another at the end of a marriage. It may be given as a lump sum or incrementally for a stated period of time. In order to be awarded alimony, one spouse must show a demonstrated need for support and the ability of the other spouse to pay it. Such an amount can be negotiated between soon-to-be former spouses, often via an attorney.

At The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., I provide comprehensive and personalized legal services covering every aspect of a divorce action, including spousal support.

How Alimony Is Determined in Florida

In Florida, there are different types of alimony under statute. One type the state courts can enforce is "bridge-the-gap" alimony. This type of spousal support attempts to place the former spouse on equal footing as the other.

Alimony may be awarded on either a temporary or permanent basis at the end of a marriage. Temporary alimony is also known as rehabilitative alimony.

The appropriate type of spousal support largely depends on the length of a marriage. Short-term marriages are those less than seven years. In these situations alimony is not usually appropriate unless you can show an exceptional circumstance. Moderate-term marriages are those more than seven years but fewer than 17 years. Those marriages longer than 17 years are often given permanent alimony.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony can be granted in one of two ways: as permanent periodic alimony or in a lump sum. Periodic alimony is given over a period of time until the former spouse remarries or one of the spouses dies. Permanent periodic alimony is supposed to cover the former spouses' essential needs.

Sometimes former spouses elect to receive their alimony as a lump-sum. This is sometimes desirable if the future earning power of the paying spouse is in doubt. It may also be used to balance out the division of property to ensure that it is equitable. Only spouses who are eligible to receive permanent alimony may receive it in a lump-sum form.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is given in situations where there is a need for support for a limited period of time. This may be awarded under various circumstances. One such example is when one spouse sets aside his or her career to take care of the children. There are other situations as well where this is appropriate.

Tax Implications Of Alimony

Generally, the person paying the alimony may deduct it on his or her taxes. The spouse who receives alimony is responsible for paying taxes on it as if it were ordinary income.

How I Can Help You In Your Divorce

I understand that this is a scary time for you. I work hard to remain accessible and make my fees affordable. I will try to empower you by giving you the information that you need to understand the process and plan for your family's future.

As a divorce lawyer, I routinely file alimony petitions. I can give you an estimated monthly payment during the free initial consultation. I can also help you pursue a modification when necessary. To arrange for an appointment, please fill out my online contact form or call me at 866-435-4172.