Quality Legal Help for Florida Spousal Support
The challenges of divorce are compounded by financial struggles, as both parties need to cover additional living expenses with income that is now split. To help the lower wage earner in a pending or finalized divorce, the court can award alimony, also referred to as spousal support or maintenance, to facilitate the transition from being married to single. The divorcing parties may agree on spousal support amicably, or a family court judge may order monetary payment based on their circumstances. While there are Florida state guidelines for spousal support, a judge has significant discretion when determining the length and amount of the payments.
At The Davies Law Firm, LLC, we thoroughly understand the factors that impact spousal support decisions. Our legal team works with opposing counsel to reach a fair agreement through negotiations. Attorney Kathleen Davies is skilled in a collaborative approach to resolving alimony issues. However, if an agreement is not reached, she has extensive courtroom experience and can present a strong argument on your behalf to a family court judge.
Florida Law Provides for Several Types of Spousal Support:
- Temporary alimony may be awarded when a spouse needs financial support during a divorce proceeding until the divorce is finalized.
- Bridge-the Gap alimony provides a lesser-earning spouse with short-term financial assistance, generally not to exceed two years. In this scenario, the support is to pay living expenses while the recipient searches for gainful employment.
- Rehabilitative alimony assists a former spouse in establishing the capacity for self-support through education, training, or the redevelopment of previous skills. This award is time-limited, and a specific plan must be in place.
- Durational alimony is awarded to provide a lower earning party with financial assistance for a set amount of time when there is no need for support permanently. The length of this alimony may not exceed the length of the marriage.
- Permanent alimony may be granted under exceptional circumstances. It is for an indefinite duration when a former spouse cannot afford the necessities of life after a divorce and has no means of becoming self-sustaining.
- Lump Sum alimony is a single monetary award paid to one party to avoid having any future obligations toward an ex-spouse.
How Alimony is Calculated
Alimony is based on one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay. It is terminated once a former spouse is remarried or one party dies. The court considers many factors before determining whether a spouse will receive alimony and how much will be paid, including, but not limited to:
- Length of the marriage
- Monetary resources and employability of both parties
- Earning abilities, academic levels, and the likelihood of employment
- Contributions each party has made to the marriage
- The standard of living of both parties
- The responsibilities of a spouse in regards to minor children
- The age, physical, and emotional status of both parties
Modifications of Spousal Support
When there is an unexpected, involuntary, and substantial change in the circumstances of the paying or recipient party, a petition may be filed with the family court for a modification or termination of alimony. Common reasons for a modification or termination are remarriage or a medical emergency. Exceptions are the lump sum and bridge-the-gap alimony, which the former spouses cannot modify. In addition, if the original divorce judgment does not grant alimony, it is not modifiable.
Meet With an Experienced Florida Spousal Support Attorney
The legal team at The Davies Law Firm, LLC, understands that you are going through a difficult life transition. If you are seeking a divorce or believe your alimony payments should be modified or terminated, we can help. Attorney Kathleen Davies has over thirty-five years of legal experience in and out of the courtroom. Our legal team is committed to quality representation, whether you are seeking to secure spousal support or if you are faced with unmanageable spousal support obligations.
At The Davies Law Firm, LLC, we offer a Free Consultation to review your situation and provide a straightforward assessment of what you can expect regarding spousal support or any other aspect of your divorce. Call to schedule an appointment with a caring and experienced family law attorney at 855-688-4713 in our Cocoa, Florida office. We represent clients in Brevard, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties.