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.
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.
How Long Do You Have To Be Married To Get Alimony In Florida
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 case law at Fichtel v. Fichtel.
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Find Out Your Alimony Payment
Fill out the information below to receive your estimated alimony payment based on our Boca Raton divorce lawyers propriety formula. Only enter the information you know.
How is Alimony Calculated in Florida? When determining whether or not to allow alimony, the court will base its decision on many things like the age and health of both spouses. They also look at the standards of living, how long you have been married, the marital assets, the employment prospects of each spouse, and each partners role in the marriage and household. Taxes and other financial obligations are also factored in.
After looking at these items, a court judge in Florida will use the following calculation to determine alimony awards.
Typically, it will be 30% of the payers gross annual income, minus 20% of the payees gross annual income. After this figure is calculated, the judge must decide if the payor has sufficient ability to pay and the payee actually needs alimony.
A quick example would: Spouse #1 s gross annual income is $250,000.30% of that is $75,000.Spouse #2 s gross annual income is $35,000.20% of that is $7,000.Based on this information, the calculated alimony would be $68,0000/year.One caveat, however, is that the payees net income figure cannot exceed 40% of the gross income of both parties combined.
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Determining The Standard Of Living For The Alimony Analysis:
Under Florida Alimony Law, the marital standard of living the starting point for determining a spouses needs for financial support after the divorce. As an example, if the marital standard of living was to live in a one-million-dollar house, drive foreign cars, take luxurious vacations, and send the kids to private school, then the measuring of a spouses financial need for alimony after the divorce will usually be based on the costs of continuing a similar lifestyle after the divorce.
When people cannot agree, the actual dollar amount of a spouses need for alimony is determined by having an accountant preform a needs analysis, which is a one to two-year study of how much spouses spent on each category of expenses, with certain adjustments made to reflect necessary changes in lifestyle after the divorce.
It should be noted that while the standard of living during the marriage is usually the starting point for determining a spouses need for financial support, there are some exceptions to this that vary by jurisdiction. In many cases, the standard of living during the marriage becomes less relevant to the alimony analysis in shorter marriages or in marriages where the couple lived beyond their financial means.
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Automatic Percentage Award Or Formula
Any alimony award that includes an automatic percentage of some future income is improper. For example, a court judge awarding a wife 12% of her husbands taxable income in the future is not proper.
Another example would be a spousal support award to a wife of 25% of any gross bonus her husband receives in future years when wife receives spousal support and child support.
Divorce Adultery And Alimony Requests In Florida
Florida Statute 61.09 states that a paying spouse may be liable to pay alimony even if the couple is not divorced. The state doesnt recognize legal separation, unlike many states. However, alimony can still be pursued even if a couple is not legally divorced. The alimony under this statute supports the continuation of the marriage and provides a possibility of reconciliation in the future .
A married couple still has a legal duty to help each other financially. That means a court may still order spousal support even if the couple is separated. The amount of alimony should be appropriate to the standard of living that the receiving party enjoyed during the couples marriage .
For filing a divorce in Florida, the state law requires at least one of the spouses to be a state resident for six months before the divorce petition. However, when talking about durational alimony requirements, residency is not necessary .
The state of Florida is known as a no-fault divorce state. This means under the states divorce law, an individual doesnt need to provide or prove any reason, such as adultery, to facilitate a divorce. So, the act of cheating, for instance, will play a minor role in a permanent alimony request.
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Can Infidelity Or Adultery Affect Alimony Awards In Florida
There are many factors taken into account when determining if or how much alimony a spouse may be awarded in the event of a divorce one of those factors is adultery. Whether you are a spouse who had an extramarital affair or the spouse who desires to collect alimony from a spouse who committed adultery, you will find the information below useful and enlightening.
What do Florida Courts Consider in Determining Whether Alimony Will be Awarded?
As mentioned above, several factors are taken into consideration by the court in determining if either spouse may be awarded alimony. Adultery is one of these factors. The state’s alimony laws give the courts the power to “consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded.”
We will discuss adultery and its impact on alimony a bit later, but first we will list other factors that may impact alimony awards. These include:
This is not an all-inclusive list, however it does give you a good idea of what the court will look at in determining whether one spouse or the other is awarded alimony, and the amount of the alimony.
Whether the court awards or denies the request for alimony, a statement of facts will be provided that explains the factors supporting the award/denial.
How Much Alimony Does A Wife Get In Florida
A wife may not be the sole oblige for alimony in Florida, a husband may also be an oblige or recipient of alimony. As mentioned before, alimony is calculated based on the need of the oblige and the obligators ability to pay. The American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers provides a guideline, which takes 30% of the obligors gross annual income minus 20% of the oblige s gross annual income to estimate an alimony obligation. Florida judges have broad discretion when it comes to determining alimony amounts.
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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.
Understanding And Calculating The Florida Alimony
After youve figure out your alimony payments using the Florida Alimony Calculator then youll need to understand what an alimony is. Alimony is a legal requirement by one partner to grant financial support to his or her estranged spouse after a legal divorce or separation. An alimony award aims at compensating the unwarranted economic consequences to one spouse following a divorce.
Judges usually consider numerous factors when determining the alimony payments. The court decides on the alimony award by considering things like the marital standards of living, age and general health of each spouse. Additionally, the duration of the marriage, the sum of each partners assets, and the role of each spouse to the marriage, and tax bill penalties plays a huge role.
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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
- 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.
A Divorce Attorney Can Help
The insight provided in this blog post notwithstanding, its important to have excellent legal representation when youre going through a divorce to make sure your interests are heard. Whether or not you think spousal support will be a topic of contention, a reputable divorce attorney can guide you through the process and can give you peace of mind that you wont be taken advantage of.
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A Qualified Florida Family Lawyer Can Help
If you think your alimony case may turn out to be an issue in your Florida divorce case, consulting an experienced Florida Family Lawyer is crucial. The attorney may help present your family law case and demonstrate that there is the ability to pay alimony in your situation.
Conversely, if your spouse requests alimony, your attorney will present some of the statutory factors that are available to you. These factors may lead lower alimony or no alimony for your case.
Get Accurate Calculation Of Alimony Using Our Free Alimony Calculator
Our alimony calculator takes into consideration all the factors that Florida State Laws deem necessary when calculating spousal support. Therefore, you can be sure that our free alimony calculator will give you the accurate amount that you will need to pay as alimony. Get in touch with us today or visit our website to use our free alimony calculator
Types Of Florida Spousal Support
In Florida, there are five different types of spousal support that courts can award during a divorce. Couples can also reach their support agreement, however. Its only if there is a disagreement that the judge will step in and decide which, if any, of these support types to apply.
The courts in Florida take the position that each marriage has two spouses, both enjoying the same standard of living. After that marriage ends, the spouse with higher earning power has a duty to maintain that standard of living for the other spouse .
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How Is Alimony Award Determined
A family law judge has the mandate of determining who receives alimony. The decision on who will get the alimony award lies on the state laws and several factors such as the marital standards of living, the duration of the marriage, child support, who was at fault at the time of the divorce among others.
Florida Child Support Calculation Adjustments
Child support payment agreements are not set in stone. There are several factors that could potentially make you eligible for child support modification in Florida.
Some of these factors include, but are not limited to:
- Medical, psychological, or dental expenses
- Seasonal variations in income or expenses
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Does Adultery Affect Alimony
Florida is commonly referred to as a no-fault divorce state. Under Florida divorce law, you dont need to prove adultery or other reasons for a divorce. See Florida divorce law 61.052. All Florida law requires is there be irreconcilable differences to obtain a divorce. Therefore, adultery will usually not be relevant to a judges determination for permanent alimony in Florida. However, if marital assets were used to further the adulterous relationship, it can be considered during the divorce. The funds used on the relationship may be viewed as a waste and be a credit awarded to the innocent spouse.
How Much Is Alimony In Florida
There is no fixed amount for alimony in Florida. The court hearing the divorce case will make findings of the incomes and financial assets of both partners, and also about specific circumstances of their marriage. The information obtained will determine how the court will calculate their alimony and arrive at an appropriate amount.
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How Is Alimony Calculated In Florida
If youre going through a divorce in Florida, you might be concerned about alimony. If youre the paying spouse, youre probably worried about handing over a large portion of your paycheck each month in spousal support. Or perhaps youre a receiving spouse, and youre suddenly without the financial support of your ex. Whatever the case may be, its important to gain an understanding of alimony in Florida so you can plan your future effectively.
While internet research is always a good step, it makes sense to get in touch with a qualified divorce attorney as soon as possible. These legal professionals can assess your unique situation and determine how alimony might be handled. Remember, each divorce is different, and theres no easy way to find out exactly how much alimony youll be paying or receiving through internet research alone.
A Basic Guideline for Alimony Calculations
If youre looking for a quick and easy way to calculate your alimony payments, consider the guidelines set forth by The American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers. Under these guidelines, alimony is calculated by subtracting 20% of the receiving spouses income from 30% of the paying spouses income.
How Long Will Alimony Last?
If youre wary about paying these sums for the rest of your life, its important to understand that permanent alimony is relatively rare in Florida. There are many types of alimony, including:
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How Long Am I Expected To Pay Spousal Support In Florida
In terms of the duration of alimony, Florida law specifically defines marriage in terms of length:
- Short-term: a marriage lasting less than 7 years
- Moderate-term: a marriage lasting between 7 and 17 years
- Long-term: a marriage lasting longer than 17 years
These definitions of marriage are important because the length of an alimony award is related to the length of the marriage.
For example, in a short or moderate-term marriage, the parties should expect to pay or receive alimony for a short or moderate time period. Similarly, parties should expect to pay or receive alimony over a long period of time in a long-term marriage.
It is uncommon, however, for a Florida court to order that the parties pay or receive alimony beyond the term of the marriage. For example, a Florida court is unlikely to award a long duration of paying or receiving alimony in a short-term marriage.
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