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How Long Does Alimony Last In Florida

Can Alimony Be Terminated Or Modified In Florida

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Florida law allows for an alimony award may be modified or terminated if the person receiving alimony is in a supportive relationship with the person he or she resides.

Florida law also allows for alimony to be modified if:

  • there is a substantial change in circumstances
  • the change was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment of dissolution and,
  • the change was sufficient, material, involuntary, and permanent in nature.

In sum, yes alimony can be terminated or modified in the State of Florida.

Types Of Florida Alimony

Florida Statutes also define four types of alimony, which may be combined in any form.

The first type is bridge-the-gap alimony, which may be awarded to support one former spouse in the transition from being married to being single. It is intended to help with legitimate, identifiable short-term needs, and it may not be awarded for a period longer than two years. Bridge-the-gap alimony awards are not modifiable, and the obligation to pay this type of support ends on the death of either former spouse or when the person receiving the alimony remarries.

The second type is rehabilitative alimony, which may be awarded to help a person become capable of self-support after divorce through the redevelopment of previous skills or credentials or the acquisition of education, training or work experience necessary to develop employment skills. Before rehabilitative alimony is awarded, a specific rehabilitative plan must be created. Florida statute states that rehabilitative alimony orders may be modified or terminated upon a substantial change in circumstances or upon failure to follow or completion of the rehabilitative plan.

Can You Modify Your Alimony In Florida

Yes! There are several circumstances that will allow you to petition for alimony modification in Florida:

  • Substantial, permanent change in one spouses income
  • Retirement
  • Inheritance
  • Loss of a child

Determining whether an instance qualifies you for modification of alimony is a nuanced process, and we highly recommend contacting a Tampa divorce attorney to help you out.

Contact us now to hire a dedicated team of Tampa lawyers who will fight for what you deserve.

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Child Support Vs Alimony

Some ex-spouses may be dismayed to learn that the court can order one spouse to pay alimony and child support, assuming that the divorcing couple has children. The obligor spouse may feel this is inappropriate since his or her ex-spouse is essentially being paid twice. It must be remembered, though, that child support are payments that are made to help pay for the costs of raising children , whereas alimony is for the benefit of the receiving spouse. Because each type of support is meant for a different person, a court is free to award both types of support.

Remember, though, that while child support must be awarded in any divorce case in which there is at least one minor child, an alimony award is discretionary and a court has the freedom to award alimony in an amount it feels appropriate based upon the facts and factors before the court.

Contact Our Dade County Alimony And Separate Maintenance Attorneys

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Our South Florida spousal support and alimony attorneys are experienced in offering our clients legal advice on whether alimony may be awarded in their divorce case, as well as calculating how much alimony may be paid and for how long.

Contact our Miami alimony attorneys at 305-222-7351 e-mail us to schedule an appointment to discuss your Dade County, Broward County or Monroe County alimony issue. Our Miami alimony lawyers accept family law cases in Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Monroe County.

Consultations are available in Miami and at several meeting locations throughout Dade and Broward Counties including Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Galiano Street in Coral Gables, West Country Club Drive in Aventura, Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood and in the Homestead area. Appointments are also available by telephone and via Skype internet video chat.

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Florida Alimony Law Overview

This Florida Alimony Law Overview covers what is important about Floridas Alimony Laws.

Alimony is the term given to financial support paid, usually monthly, from one former spouse to another after the marriage is over. Alimony is a creature of statute and the rules regarding it differ greatly between jurisdictions.

Some jurisdictions use a mathematical formula to determine the amount of alimony, but in Florida the exact determination of the amount and duration of alimony is in the discretion of divorce court judges.

Generally speaking, two facts must be established before a judge orders the payment of alimony: one spouse must actually need financial support from the other spouse to pay their living expenses after maximizing their earning potential and the other spouse must actually have the financial ability to pay financial support to the other party in addition to their own reasonable living expenses.

Although this seems simple in concept, the amount and duration of alimony is one of the most contentious issues in divorce litigation. This is for good reason, as the amount of alimony paid or received can be the difference between both the spouse paying or receiving the alimony being comfortable after the divorce or living in the proverbial poor house.

The most contested issues that come up concerning alimony are typically:

  • Determining each spouses income for evaluating how much alimony they need or can pay
  • Determining how much alimony will be awarded
  • What Qualifies You For Alimony In Florida

    What qualifies a recipient spouse for alimony in Florida are several factors, among them:

    • The standard of living established during the marriage
    • The length of the marriage
    • Both spouses financial resources, including the non-marital, marital property, assets, and liabilities
    • Each spouses earning capacity, educational level, vocational skills, and employability and, if applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to find employment
    • Both spouses contributions to the marriage, including homemaking, childcare, education, and career-building of the other spouse
    • Whether either spouse will have parental responsibilities to minor children
    • Tax consequences of alimony, if any, to both spouses
    • All sources of income to both spouses, including income available through investments, and
    • Any other factor the court deems necessary to create a fair alimony award.

    There is no formula for judges to use when deciding how much and what type of alimony is appropriate. In addition to the above factors, the court must also ensure that the paying spouses net income is no less than the supported spouse Judges have broad discretion when deciding the type , duration, and amount of alimony appropriate for your case.

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    Overview Of Alimony In Florida Divorces

    When two spouses divorce in Florida, the court may order one ex-spouse to pay the other alimony.Alimony or spousal support, as it is sometimes called is typically money paid by one spouse to the other and meant to support and provide for the other spouse for a period of time. The court can fashion an alimony award so that the spouse receiving the alimony can enjoy a standard of living that he or she was accustomed to during the marriage, so he or she can go back to school or complete a job training program, or to provide for his or her needs until he or she can get back on his or her feet following the divorce.

    A court has a great deal of discretion in awarding alimony to an ex-spouse. Whereas child support orders are calculated according to a specific, statutorily-defined formula, a court can consider a number of factors in determining whether any alimony is appropriate in a given case and, if so, what type and what amount of alimony should be awarded. An ex-spouse who understands the purposes of alimony and the factors a court considers when awarding alimony can anticipate whether the court in his or her case will award any alimony.

    The Duration Of Each Type Of Alimony In Florida

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    Florida courts determine which type of alimony is the fairest based on the evidence they are provided by each party. This information will be taken into consideration to help the court decide which kind of alimony is the most appropriate. Each type of alimony has a set duration. Generally, these are the types of spousal support available in Florida:

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    What Type Of Alimony Is Appropriate

    Once it has been determined that an alimony award is appropriate, the court must next determine what sort of alimony ought to be awarded under the circumstances. Florida law allows courts to award five different types of alimony:

    • Temporary alimony: Temporary alimony is awarded to one spouse during the pendency of a divorce. Typically, one ex-spouse requests the court enter a temporary alimony award at the time he or she files for divorce. Temporary alimony automatically ends when a court enters final divorce orders at that time, the court may order another type of alimony be paid.
    • Rehabilitative alimony: Where one ex-spouse has the potential to resume a career or begin a profession in order to provide for him- or herself, he or she might request rehabilitative alimony. This type of alimony is meant to allow the receiving ex-spouse obtain job-related education or training so as to assist him or her in providing for his or her own needs. The ex-spouse wanting rehabilitative alimony must submit a detailed plan to the court explaining how much rehabilitative alimony is needed, what expenses are to be covered by the alimony, and how long it will take to complete the education or training. Rehabilitative alimony can end whenever the plan is completed or if the receiving ex-spouse is not compliant with the proposed plan.

    Qualifying For Alimony In Florida

    Contrary to popular belief, alimony isn’t only available to women. Either spouse can request support, and the court will evaluate whether the requesting spouse needs help and whether the other spouse can pay. If the court finds the “need and ability” the judge will then assess the following factors:

    • the standard of living established during the marriage
    • the length of the marriage
    • each spouse’s age and physical and emotional health
    • both spouse’s financial resources, including the nonmarital and assets, and liabilities
    • each spouse’s earning capacity, educational level, vocational skills, and employability and, if applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to find employment
    • both spouse’s contributions to the marriage, including homemaking, childcare, education, and career-building of the other spouse
    • whether either spouse will have parental responsibilities to minor children
    • tax consequences of alimony, if any, to both spouses
    • all sources of income to both spouses, including income available through investments, and
    • any other factor the court deems necessary to create a fair alimony award.

    Florida courts may also consider whether either spouse committed adultery during the marriage and how the affair impacted the couple’s marital funds. For example, if one spouse cheated and paid for an apartment, living expenses, or trips with a girlfriend or boyfriend, the court may factor in the spending when calculating alimony.

    How Long Does Alimony Last In Pa

    People going through a divorce frequently wonder, How long does alimony last in Pennsylvania? Spousal support can theoretically last indefinitely. When a couple reconciles, it ends, or it converts into alimony pendente lite when a divorce complaint is in processing. It would also end if the recipient spouse cohabitated or if either party died.

    However, an average ten-year marriage with $200,000 in assets split 55/45 may result in a total of 2-3 years of alimony/support, including any time spent paying spousal support or APL.

    What Is Alimony In Florida Law

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    Alimony is defined as spousal support awarded pursuant to a divorce action. Temporary alimony may be awarded after the filing of the petition for dissolution and prior to the final judgment on dissolution. Spouses should be aware that the Florida family courts have the authority to enter an award of temporary alimony even in cases where there has been a waiver of spousal support in a valid prenuptial agreement.

    Who Pays Alimony In Florida

    All family law and divorce cases are unique. However, the spouse who earns the most money is typically the one who must pay alimony payments to the other spouse.

    Other factors a court will consider when deciding whether alimony is necessary:

    • Debts
    • Access to additional financial support
    • Education level
    • Earning capacity
    • Whether either spouse committed adultery

    To maximize your chances of achieving a fair outcome in your alimony case, you should hire a qualified divorce attorney.

    Florida Divorce Law Requirement For Permanent Alimony

    Florida applies a two-part test to determine alimony, the need & ability test. The first part of the test is to establish if there is a need for alimony. The term need does not mean basic living expenses, such as rent, food, and clothing. Instead, the term need refers to the standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. See Griffin v. Griffin. It is important to note, need can include many things that most of us would consider luxuries. See Firestone v. Firestone. Once the need is established, the spouse will then have to prove that the other spouse can pay the alimony sought.

    Length Of Orlando Alimony Award

  • Permanent alimony or lifetime alimony may be awarded following a marriage of long duration or following a marriage of moderate duration if such an award is appropriate upon consideration of the statutory factors, or following a marriage of short duration if there are exceptional circumstances. Typically, permanent alimony is only awarded when the length of the marriage exceeds 17 years. However, there are circumstances where permanent alimony may be awarded when the duration of the marriage is less than 17 years.
  • Durational alimony may be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. The length of an award of durational alimony may not exceed the length of the marriage. Many courts will order durational alimony for a duration equal to half the length of the marriage. However, the court has discretion to award alimony for up to the full duration of the marriage. Again, the length will be determined by arguing the circumstances and statutory factors.
  • Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded to assist a party by providing support while the party transitions from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a party with legitimate identifiable short-term needs, and the length of an award may not exceed 2 years.
  • Temporary alimony is paid during the duration of the case to provide temporary support while the case is ongoing. Temporary alimony does not exceed the length of the case.
  • Changes to Florida Alimony as of January 1, 2019

    What Are The Different Types Of Spousal Support In Florida

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    According to Florida divorce law, there are five situations where spousal support may be awarded. Importantly, a judge may award any combination of these spousal support payments. Furthermore, a judge may order that spousal support be paid periodically or in one lump sum.

    The five situations are:

  • Temporary spousal support. Temporary spousal support is awarded while the divorce proceedings are happening and ends when the court enters the final judgment.
  • Bridge-the-gap spousal support. This type of support focuses on what each spouse may need to successfully transition from being married to being single.
  • Rehabilitative spousal support. Rehabilitative support is similar to bridge-the-gap support because it is short-term and transitional.
  • Durational spousal support. In Florida, durational support may be awarded in short-term or moderate-term marriages. Durational support covers a set amount of time determined by the court. This type of support cannot last longer than the spouses marriage.
  • Permanent spousal support. Permanent support is typically awarded in moderate and long-term marriages. Permanent support usually lasts until the receiving spouse either passes away or is re-married.
  • What Is Florida Permanent Alimony

    Florida permanent alimony is periodic payments of financial support paid to an ex-spouse for an indefinite duration. The purpose of Floridas permanent alimony law is not to divide future income. Instead, it is to provide for the needs of a former spouse, as they were established during the marriage. See Mallard v. Mallard. Permanent alimony is only proper when the evidence shows a permanent inability of the ex-spouse to become self-sustaining. Further, permanent alimony is typically only awarded upon the divorce of a long-term marriage.

    Permanent alimony in Florida is appropriate when a party in the marriage cannot meet their needs and necessities of life following a divorce. The needs and necessities of life of that party are determined by the standard of living during the marriage. Therefore, the employment history, income, and expenses of each party will be significant factors in a Florida alimony case.

    Alimony may be paid as a lump sum, periodic payments, or both. Although adultery is not considered in determining if a divorce should be granted, the court may consider adultery when deciding alimony.

    Bridge The Gap Alimony

    BGA may be granted in short-term marriages and is intended to provide a short period of financial assistance that allows a spouse to transition from married life to becoming single. It is generally granted when younger spouses are involved.

    If BGA is granted, the duration cannot exceed two years. Additionally, once it is granted, then neither the duration nor amount may be modified.

    How Long Will I Have To Pay Alimony

    How much and How long? An initial discussion on Florida Alimony establishment and guidelines.

    This article covers the basic concepts for durational, bridge the gap, and permanent alimony. For a discussion on rehabilitative alimony see that article here.

    Unlike child support, Florida divorce law doesnt contain specific guidelines for alimony. This creates some confusion and frustration among practitioners and clients. A review of the history of alimony in Florida divorce Courts, as well as comparisons among recent alimony awards can help provide both clients and their attorneys with some realistic expectations and the ability to negotiate effectively.

    Due to the historic gender roles relating to employment and earning capacity, Courts in the early United States were faced with the reality that following a divorce, an unsupported ex-Wife and her children were likely to become impoverished, and therefore dependent upon the state in some capacity. It was the Courts job to prevent the ex-Wife from becoming a public burden by requiring the Husband to continue to support the ex Wife until such time as she remarried or was self-supporting. This concept gave rise to alimony or spousal support.

    How much?

    Aside from the basic need and ability to pay, the Court is instructed to consider the following factors:

    The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.

    The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.

    How Long?

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