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How To Calculate Alimony In Florida

Child Support And Alimony

How do you calculate alimony in Florida?

Most paying parties look at child support and alimony as the same thing. However, the court looks at these things separately.

Alimony is the obligation a paying spouse needs to fulfill to their ex-spouse to help them get back on their feet. On the other hand, child support is the amount involved in raising a child. This covers food expenses, clothes, and other essential things a child needs to grow. If children are involved, courts can order child support and alimony simultaneously.

Modification And Termination Of Alimony

Under Florida law, the court can’t modify or terminate bridge-the-gap alimony once it’s ordered. The court can terminate or modify rehabilitative alimony if the receiving spouse doesnt comply with the plan she submitted to the court, or if she completes the plan early such as by graduating from college and getting a degree ahead of schedule. The court can also modify it if the paying spouse has a significant change of circumstances such as if his income drastically drops through no fault of his own. A significant change of circumstances can alter durational and permanent alimony as well. Some events terminate alimony automatically, such as if the receiving spouse remarries. Florida law also addresses supportive relationships, so if your ex moves in with her new partner but doesn’t marry him, thinking that if they don’t marry, she wont lose her alimony, you can file a motion and bring this to the courts attention. If you can prove that theyre combining incomes to sustain their household, the court can end your alimony obligation.

References

What Is Alimony/spousal Support

Alimony is financial assistance one spouse pays to the other either during and/or after divorce. Not every divorcing spouse is automatically eligible for alimony or is ordered to pay alimony. Spousal support must be requested in the initial petition for divorce by the spouse that requires financial support, if it is not properly requested alimony can be waived.

Alimony laws in florida

Alimony award is based on the financial need of the requesting spouse and the financial ability of the payor spouse to pay the requested alimony. Need for spousal is usually demonstrated by showing to the court that the requesting spouse will not be able to sustain herself/himself financially in accordance with the lifestyle established during the marriage without the financial help of the other spouse.

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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.

What Qualifies You For Alimony In Florida

How to Calculate and Understand Florida Child Support

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
  • 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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Aventura Alimony Lawyer Helena Y Farber

Depending on the length of the marriage and other financial factors you might be eligible to receive or will be ordered to pay alimony or what is also know as spousal support. This is an important aspect of the divorce process and should not be approached lightly. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable alimony lawyer to find out your right and responsibilities when it comes to divorce and spousal support.

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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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.

Types Of Alimony Available

How to Calculate Child Support in Florida

Florida law enables the court to award different types of alimony. The decision of what type of alimony to award, if any, rests in the discretion of the court and what it believes to be fair under the circumstances. A court is not limited to awarding just one type of alimony if it feels it is appropriate, it may award more than one type of alimony.

The different types of alimony available include:

  • Temporary Alimony: This type of alimony is awarded in cases where one spouse requires financial support while the divorce is pending. Once the divorce is finalized, temporary alimony automatically ends. For instance, if Louis and Anna are divorcing, and Anna needs assistance relocating away from Louis, she may ask the court to provide her with temporary alimony to assist her in starting over in a new location.
  • Bridge-the-Gap Alimony: Bridge-the-gap alimony is temporary in nature and is meant to last no more than two years. This sort of alimony begins once the divorce is finalized and provides one spouse with temporary living expenses to meet his or her short-term needs. Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded, for instance, where one spouse needs to complete a job training class or is waiting for a house to sell before moving. This type of alimony is not modifiable once it has been entered.

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This Legal Update Dramatically Changed How Alimony Works In Florida

While Senate Bill 718, more commonly referred to as the Alimony Bill, affected more than just alimony, the change it had was significant enough to keep the majority of the public focus on that aspect. This law, which came into effect on July 1, 2013, placed priority on awardingbridge-the-gap alimony first, orrehabilitative alimony if that wasnt a suitable option over any other type of alimony offered in Florida. This could change depending on the actions of state legislators, but its important to understand how the courts will handle alimony decisions if you are in the process of filing for divorce.

Speak with an experienced attorney by giving us a call at 328-6159 today.

Divorce is a complicated and stressful process to manage, and it can become even more confusing if you dont have a complete understanding of the laws in place. At Givens Law Group, our attorneys have decades of collective years of experience, and are passionate about providing each client we accept with the knowledgeable representation they need to secure the legal outcome they deserve. If you are in need of an attorney, reach out to us today to discuss your case.

How To Collect Alimony Owed

Unfortunately, the paying spouse will refuse or make it difficult to collect the alimony they are ordered to pay. However, Florida alimony law provides a variety of ways to enforce judgments, including garnishment. In garnishment cases, the funds go directly to the ex-spouse rather than their original recipient. The most common type of garnishment is wage garnishment. With wage garnishments, the alimony is deducted from the employees salary and forwarded to the ex-spouse by the employer in a lump sum payment.

Garnishments are not reserved for just wages. Other forms of income may be garnished as well. For example, in City of Miami v. Spurrier, the court ruled that pensions could also be garnished for alimony payments. Further, spendthrift trusts are specifically designed to protect the trustees assets from creditors can be garnished to pay alimony. See Florida alimony garnishment case, Gilbert v. Gilbert.

Many people who are not experienced divorce lawyers may think that there is a loophole, which allows anyone to get out of a garnishment order to bridge the gap. There is indeed a Head of Household defense to garnishment under Florida Statute §222.11. However, the exception was revised to provide alimony award, regardless of head-of-household status many years ago. Therefore, the head of household exemption will not prevent alimony from garnishing wages.

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What Is Their Ability To Pay

It is not only the one spouses situation that the lawyers will take a look into to calculate how much alimony is required to be paid. They will also look at the income of the other spouse and determine their ability to pay. They will take 30% of the payers gross income and subtract it from 20% of the payees income and come to a fair number for an alimony settlement.

There are no set rules and guidelines in Florida when it comes to how much alimony will be required to be paid. However, the courts will take a look at the surplus and the deficit of each party in order to calculate a fair number of how much alimony should be awarded.

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Determining How Long Alimony Will Be Paid:

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The length of time the alimony payments last depends on the specifics of the support needed, but will vary significantly between courthouses and judges, which is why some states base the duration upon statutory formulas. Sometimes, the alimony will stop after a period of time deemed necessary for the spouse to become self-supporting. In other cases, the alimony will be paid over a much longer duration.

As a rule of thumb, alimony is usually not going to be longer than half the length of the marriage in marriages lasting less than ten years, but as the marriage gets longer, the duration the alimony payments last typically extends.

Although permanent alimony still exists in many states, the term is somewhat of a misnomer. As explained below, alimony payments usually stop once the person paying alimony gets to retirement age, or upon other major life events.

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Factors Affecting Alimony Awards

Before a court can award any type of alimony, a court must not only determine that there is a need for alimony, but also that the spouse from whom alimony is sought has an ability to pay the proposed alimony. If the court does not find the receiving spouse has a need for alimony, then the court will not likely award alimony even if the other spouse has the ability to pay alimony. Similarly, if the court finds that the paying spouse is not able to pay an alimony award, then no alimony award will be entered even if the other spouse could use financial support.

Once the court has determined that there is both a need for alimony and the paying spouse has the ability to pay alimony, the court will then consider relevant factors in deciding what type of alimony to award and how long to award such alimony. These factors may include:

  • Financial Resources of Receiving Spouse: The court may consider the financial situation and resources of the spouse asking for alimony. This would include not only the requesting spouses income, but any separate property he or she has and any property he or she is awarded by the court during the division of the marital property.
  • Receiving Spouses Income Sources: All sources of income for the receiving spouse will be considered, including wages, salaries, and investment income, for example.

Contact An Experienced Family Law Attorney

You can benefit from the assistance of our experienced alimony attorneys whether you are seeking alimony or whether your ex-spouse has requested that you pay alimony. If you are in need of alimony, an we can review the facts of your case and discuss with you how best to present your situation to the court. Especially if you are asking for rehabilitative alimony, our legal team can assist you in preparing the proper documents to present your request to the court. Our consultations are free and we look forward to fighting for your rights.

If your ex-spouse has asked the court to order you to pay alimony, it is important to discuss the case with an attorney as well. An attorney can assist you in presenting the facts of your situation as well as gathering evidence about your ex-spouses situation. Since alimony is based both on need and ability to pay, your attorney can ensure that the court considers facts related to both of these factors.

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Do I Have To Pay Alimony

When the court has stated that you have to pay alimony, this is legally binding. Alimony award is granted to the ex-spouse for financial support after a legal separation or divorce. The alimony award will compensate for any unexpected financial consequence to one spouse following a divorce. For example, if you are a doctor and your wife has always been at home raising the children, then after a divorce, there is little expectation that she will quickly get a job because she was a stay at home mother and wife, so she will need financial support until she is able to get back on her feet.

Florida Spousal Support Laws: Calculating Alimony

Alimony: What You Need To Know About it In Florida

Couples in Florida can negotiate their terms for alimony in very specific ways including the type, duration, and amount of support. Heres what you need to know about Florida spousal support laws.

If divorcing spouses cannot come to an agreement on their own, a judge will evaluate the circumstances and decide for them.

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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.

Alimony And Florida Taxes

In 2018, it was established that alimony is not tax-deductible to the spouse that makes alimony payments they are responsible for the income taxes. The spouse receiving the payments will not have to pay taxes on the alimony received.

Parties are not allowed to file joint tax returns for the year they are claiming the alimony to be tax-deductible, and the parties must reside at separate addresses.

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How Long Do Alimony Payments Last In Florida

Are you getting a divorce in Florida? The court may order you or your spouse to pay alimony. Courts often order alimony if one spouse will be unable to support themselves after a divorce.

You may wonder how long alimony payments last. The answer: it depends. Courts account for a number of factors when deciding the length of alimony payments.

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