Changes To Marriage Definitions
The definition of a short-term marriage was extended from less than seven years to up to 11 years. The current assumption in Florida is that marriages that last less than 12 years will not include alimony payments in the divorce, and if the court determines that the payments are necessary, it cannot exceed 25 percent of the paying ex-spouses gross income, and cannot last for more than half of the length of the marriage. Previously, payments could last for the same amount of time as the couple was married.
The definition of a mid-term marriage was extended from between seven to 17 years to between 11 and 20 years. Just like a short-term marriage, alimony payments cannot last for more than half of the length of the marriage, rather than the previously allowed entire length of the marriage. Mid-term marriage alimony payments cannot exceed 35 percent of the paying ex-spouses gross income.
The definition of a long-term marriage was extended from at least 17 years to at least 20 years, and alimony payments cannot last for more than half of the length of the marriage. Long-term alimony payments cannot exceed 38 percent of the paying ex-spouses gross income.
How Is Alimony Calculated In Florida
The two primary factors the court must consider in determining the amount of alimony are the need of the payee spouse and the ability of the paying spouse to pay. The court may impute income to a spouse who is earning less than the spouse is capable of earning through his or her best efforts.
To impute income means that the court will pretend that the spouse is earning a certain amount of income for purposes of calculating the amount of alimony needed or the amount the paying spouse is able to pay.
Enforcement Of Alimony Award
An order, award, or decree relating to alimony or disposition of property may be enforced by contempt proceedings. Contempt proceedings are governed by the Maryland Rules. When a person fails to comply with a judgment prohibiting or mandating action, the court may, in appropriate circumstances, hold the person in contempt.
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How To Avoid Alimony In Florida
You didnt want the divorce. You sure didnt want it to end up this way. But if you have to go through this process you at least want to protect your wallet. You want to protect your future.
Your goal might be to pay no alimony in Florida. Or, perhaps your goal is to pay something reasonable and fair. Or maybe you are in a woman-friendly divorce jurisdiction and dont want to get raked over the coals.
Regardless of your goal, the 13 tactics below will help you fight back against any unreasonable alimony request.
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Permanent Alimony In Florida
In a Florida divorce, there may be various elements involved. Alimony is one of them. Also known as spousal support, alimony is a legal obligation from one spouse to another. The higher earner may be ordered to financially support the other spouse after a divorce through a lump sum or monthly payments. While alimony is not a requirement in all divorce cases, it is an option to prevent a spouse from needing state assistance.
Florida is lenient when it comes to divorce. The state offers five types of alimony:
Four of these are short-term or temporary options. They are in place to help a spouse transition from married life to single life when they may have limited income. They receive alimony while they look for a new job or attend college to gain skills and education.
There is one form of alimony that stands out though: permanent alimony. As the name suggests, permanent alimony lasts foreverwell, until the payer or recipient dies. It also ends when the recipient remarries. It could also end when the recipient cohabitates with another person.
In the past, there was some incentive to pay alimony, since it was tax deductible. The payer could claim it on their tax returns. However, that is no longer the case. Payers no longer receive any tax benefits, so it is now more of a burden than ever.
Does The Length Of Marriage Affect Alimony
Permanent alimony or long durational alimony awards are usually reserved for long-term or moderate-term marriages. Generally, short-term marriages are only eligible for short-term forms of alimony. Under Florida law, a short-term marriage is a marriage lasting less than seven years. A moderate-term marriage is classified as a marriage lasting between 7 and 17 years. A marriage lasting longer than 17 years is considered a long-term marriage. See Fichtel v. Fichtel.
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Impute A Reasonable Rate Of Return On Your Investments
Hopefully, you and your spouse have done a good job-saving money through the years. Of course, if the savings are marital money then your spouse will stand to receive half of the savings. And while you may wince at first, hear me out: Your savings can reduce the alimony you pay on a monthly basis.
Now, your spouse wont be required to live off savings when you divorce. But, if your savings are earning money then you can ask the court to consider the average returns as income to the Wife.
And remember, the more your spouse contributes to her own need the less youll need to contribute.
Heres how this works: Assume you and your Wife have 500K in stocks and investments to distribute after the divorce. Simple math says your Wife will receive 250K.
This money isnt tied up in a 401K. Its readily available to invest in right now.
So for purposes of alimony payments, your Wife should be earning income on that 250K that is above and beyond her current nest egg. Lets assume a reasonable rate of return of 5%.
.05 = $12,500 a year. Thats more than $1000.00 a month that your Wife has to support her need. And thats $1000.00 less a month that youll need to pay in alimony all things being equal.
End Your Failing Marriage Asap
End your marriage asap. Thats off even for a divorce attorney to write.
But your goal is to fight alimony and not have support. Realize the basic rule of alimony in Florida divorce: The longer you have been married the longer youll have to pay alimony when you divorce.
Thats because Florida law determines alimony types based on how long the parties have been married.
If youve been married for just a couple of years you have a short-term marriage. Alimony may not even be appropriate at all.
If youve been married for 7-17 years you are in a medium-term marriage. Alimony for a term of years might absolutely be appropriate and probably is if you have big income differences.
And on the scale of things, every year additional your married increases the length of time youll pay alimony. Not to mention, every year your spouse is financially dependent on you will make it that much harder for her to find her footing in the workforce later after divorce. And Judges know it.
If you know divorce is inevitable, get divorced.
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How Long Do Spousal Support Payments Last In Ca
Spousal support was a regular part of a California divorce settlement agreement for a very long time. Many spouses gave up full-time employment after marriage to raise a family, and alimony was a way to minimize the financial consequences of divorce at a time when one spousae was the primary breadwinner.
Although its not as common as it used to be, California courts can and will still order spousal support when appropriate, so that a lower-income spouse can maintain their pre-divorce lifestyle until they get the skills or training needed to do so on their own. Men can also apply for alimony, although the majority of those requesting it continue to be women.
As San Diego divorce lawyers, were often asked how long spousal support payments last in CA. Although every divorce is different, there are a few common factors that courts take into account when determining the duration of an alimony award.
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Alimony In Florida Guide: Divorce & Family Law
Alimony is financial support provided to an ex-spouse to help maintain the standard of living maintained during the marriage. There are many different types of alimony in Florida, which vary in amount, form, and duration. The amount and duration of alimony in Florida are determined on a case-by-case basis. If you are seeking alimony in Florida or trying to prevent paying alimony, contact a divorce law firm in Tampa for help. A skilled Tampa divorce lawyer can make a big difference in if and how much alimony is awarded. Nobody likes paying for an attorney, but in some cases, it can save a lot of money in the long run.
The policy behind alimony is to alleviate the financial disparity between the two parties. When determining alimony that should be awarded, Florida family law courts look at one spouses ability to pay vs. the other spouses need for alimony. If permanent alimony is awarded, the alimony payment should be sufficient to support the spouses standard of living.
There are many factors that a judge may consider when determining alimony in Florida is appropriate. If alimony is appropriate, the court will have to determine the durational alimony amount to bridge the gap. Regardless, alimony may not leave the person paying alimony with significantly less net income than the recipients net income.
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Modify Alimony Because Of Remarriage
The fundamental policy behind an award of alimony is the disparity in the financial resources of the two parties. Florida law considers one partys ability to pay alimony vs. the other partys need for alimony. See Eckert v. Eckert. Therefore, if an ex-spouse remarries or has become involved in a supportive relationship, it may change financial resources and create a need to modify alimony.
However, Florida courts have ruled that voluntary contributions of a live-in companion cannot be substituted for the legal obligation of a former spouse. See Mott v. Mott. Moreover, the court should consider the financial resources the only resources the parties have available, and that are in their control. See Azzarelli v. Pupello.
Determining whether the supportive relationship is grounds for an alimony modification will depend on the circumstances of each case in the Florida courts. The court will consider many factors, such as:
The financial information of a former spouses new partner may be confidential and barred from a petition to modify alimony in Florida. The financial information of private persons is entitled to protection by Floridas constitutional right of privacy. See Mogul v. Mogul. However, suppose the Tampa divorce lawyer seeking modification can prove the financial information is relevant, or there is a compelling reason to compel disclosure. In that case, it will be admissible in a modification case.
Florida Divorce Laws Alimony
When it comes to Florida divorce laws alimony, sometimes you must consider permanent alimony. Permanent alimony is for long-duration marriages if the statutory criteria are met, or for moderate duration marriages if appropriate based on clear and convincing evidence after consideration of statutory factors. It is also for short duration marriage upon written findings of exceptional circumstances. In the award of permanent alimony the court must make findings that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable.
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Show Your Spouses Earning Potential For An Alimony Case
Weve discussed that the more your Spouse makes the less youll have to contribute to her need.
But what if she is not working at all. What is she is just hanging out playing on facebook. What if she hasnt worked in years.
You can still argue to the Judge that your Wife should be working and that the Judge should impute a certain income number to your wife.
Even though she is not working she could and should be. The Judge can account for this in his ruling.
To do this in Florida youll want to hire a vocational evaluator expert.
A vocational evaluator is an expert witness.
The vocational evaluator will interview your spouse. Review your spouses medical records. And make a determination as to whether you spouse is able to work.
Then, the evaluator will do market research on the labor market nearby. The evaluator will act almost as a job-finder for your spouse.
All of this information can be then presented to the Judge to empower the Judge to impute a reasonable wage.
Of course, you can move forward and present this to the Judge without an expert. But with so much on the line it is almost always advisable to lean on an expert to aid your case.
Alimony How Much And For How Long
Missouri courts may order permanent, short-term, or temporary alimony.
- Permanent or long-term alimony refers to spousal maintenance that is granted to a spouse who has significant needs either for life or until retirement age. Long-term alimony is usually not granted by courts in Missouri.
- Rehabilitative or short-term alimony is replacing permanent alimony. It is intended to bridge the gap between the date the divorce was finalized and the time the dependent spouse becomes self-supporting.
- Temporary alimony is awarded at the discretion of the court during the divorce proceedings and before the final decree.
In many cases, the court may or may not decide on a fixed termination date for support. The paying spouse must comply until the circumstances of either the paying spouse or the dependent spouse change. Alimony is decided by Missouri courts based on the time required by the dependent spouse to acquire education or the necessary job skills to support themselves.
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How Do I Avoid Alimony In Florida
One of the best ways to avoid an alimony obligation is by agreement between the parties. Working out an agreement with your spouse is one of the ways to ensure that there is no alimony obligation from you to your spouse. These agreements can happen before marriage, but chances are you may already be married, so therefore an agreement named a postnuptial agreement- aptly named for agreements after marriage would be appropriate to assist you in avoiding having an alimony obligation.
Another way to avoid alimony in Florida is via eliminating need from your spouse. The analysis that Judges use to determine an alimony obligation is the obliges need v. the obligators ability to pay. So consistently asking oneself about how much one spouse would potentially need in alimony, how much can the needy spouse assist in contributing to their own need and the difference between the needy spouses need and their ability to contribute to their need.
Permanent Alimony: Florida Divorce/family Law
Alimony, which is also frequently referred to as maintenance or spousal support, is payment from one ex-spouse to the other. The fundamental principle guiding an award for Florida permanent alimony is the disparity in the financial resources of the two parties. However, the disparity in financial resources alone is not enough to justify an alimony award. See Segall v. Segall. Instead, Florida law looks at one spouses ability to pay alimony vs. the other spouses need for Florida permanent alimony. See Canakaris v. Canakaris.
Florida family law allows for many different types of alimony, which can vary in duration, amount, and purpose. Florida courts have a lot of discretion in awarding alimony, and if so, how much. The Tampa divorce attorney in an alimony case can make a big difference in the type and amount of alimony that is awarded. Therefore, you must hire a divorce law firm in Tampa that is experienced in Florida alimony litigation.
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Duration Of The Marriage
So, were here. Weve finally started talking about the point that, lets face it, is going to be an issue for you if anything is. Duration of marriage relates to two of the three questions we identified earlier. Specifically, it relates to whether youll receive spousal support at all , and, if so, for how long.
Why? Well, in the courts view, you are more or less dependent on your husband based on how long your marriage lasted. If your marriage ends in 6 months, chances are good that both of you can just go back to doing whatever you were doing prior to the marriage without the need for one to provide support to the other. Would it be difficult? Maybe. But still, a person who was married only a short time can only be so reliant on the other partner. Not only that, but the other partner doesnt inherit nearly as much of a responsibility towards the other if the marriage was only 6 months long. Is it far to make a person pay support forever for a marriage that only lasted 6 months? In the courts view, that seems excessive.
As far as spousal support is concerned, its definitely more of an uphill battle in a shorter-term marriage, but its not impossible. Give our office a call at 425-5200, and we can help.