What Are The Types Of Alimony In Florida
Alimony can come in a variety of forms. They include:
- Permanent alimony: This type of alimony involves indefinite payments. Permanent alimony payments typically dont stop until the recipient spouse remarries or one of the spouses dies. A court may award permanent alimony to allow a spouse to maintain their quality of life after a divorce.
- Durational alimony: With durational alimony, the court determines an appropriate length of time for one ex to make alimony payments to another.
- Bridge-the-gap: Adjusting to life after divorce can be a struggle. A person may not be able to adapt to their new lifestyle right away. Bridge-the-gap alimony is short-term alimony that helps a person transition from marriage to singleness and financial independence. The maximum length of bridge-the-gap alimony is two years.
- Rehabilitative: Rehabilitative alimony is similar to bridge-the-gap alimony. It helps someone remain financially secure while they take steps to reestablish their earning potential. This type of alimony is only available with a rehabilitative plan.
Florida courts may require a spouse to make a lump-sum payment or periodic payments as part of an alimony order. Sometimes, they determine that both are necessary.
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.
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
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.
What Are The Top Misconceptions Regarding Alimony Or Spousal Support If My Spouse Committed Adultery Doesthat Have Any Effect On The Alimony Or Spousal Support
Generally speaking, the courts dont want to hear about adultery. If for example, a husband committed adultery, it should have no effect on his liability to pay alimony to the wife. However,if as a result of that adultery he dissipated some of the assets , then those funds can be recalculated into the marital estate to the extent that the assetswere dissipated. So, if the husband purchases his girlfriend a $50,000 automobile as a gift, it should have no effect on need or ability to pay alimony, but it would have an effect on thedistribution of assets. As a result, the court would put that $50,000 back into the estate before it is split up.
For more information on Alimony & Spousal Support In Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Getthe information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 755-0126 today.
Recommended Reading: How To Know When To Get Divorced
Simplified Dissolution Of Marriage
This is a less expensive, less adversarial format that suits only the least complicated and least contentious of divorces. To qualify for a simplified dissolution, couples must agree on how they will distribute marital property and debt .
Both parties must be willing to forgo the right to a trial, the right to an appeal and the right to alimony. There must also be no minor children of the marriage nor a current pregnancy. If these criteria are met, both parties must sign a petition for simplified dissolution and attend a final hearing together.
The couples agreement can be documented in a written marital settlement agreement, which is submitted to the court if the couple chooses. There is also the option not to submit any written agreement and to keep the agreement private.
After proving residence and paying filing fees, the divorcing couple must complete a family court cover sheet. Lastly, a final judgment of simplified dissolution of marriage will either be completed and brought into court by the divorcing parties or completed in court by a judge.
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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Who Pays Spousal Support In Florida
Florida courts consider many factors when determining which spouse, if any, has to pay spousal support and how much they have to pay. Some of those factors include:
- The length of the marriage
- The spouses standard of living during the marriage
- Whether a spouse gave up certain opportunities for the sake of the marriage
- The spouses health
- Whether there was abuse or domestic violence.
The spouses lawyers make arguments regarding these factors and other factors that are relevant to the spousal support issue. In the end, it is up to the judge to determine a spousal support situation that is fair to the spouses.
Florida Alimony: Florida Spousal Support Payments In Divorces And Requests To Change Or Modify Alimony In Florida
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When a couple decides to divorce in Florida, one of the financial considerations will be whether or not either spouse will be entitled to financial support from the other spouse, commonly known as alimony. How much, and for how long, one ex-spouse is legally obligated to pay money to their ex-wife or ex-husband in alimony payments depends upon a variety of factors.
State of Florida Alimony Law: Florida Alimony Statute
Florida alimony, also known as Florida spousal support, is provided for in Florida Statutes 61.08, which provides the following:
In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court may grant alimony to either party, which alimony may be bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent in nature or any combination of these forms of alimony. In any award of alimony, the court may order periodic payments or payments in lump sum or both. The court may consider the adultery of either spouse and the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded. In all dissolution actions, the court shall include findings of fact relative to the factors enumerated in subsection supporting an award or denial of alimony.
Types of Florida Alimony
As defined in Florida Statute 61.08, Florida has 4 types of spousal support or alimony:
1. Bridge-the-Gap Alimony
2. Rehabilitative Alimony
3. Durational Alimony
4. Permanent Alimony
Does Everyone Have to Pay Florida Alimony? No.
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Asking For Alimony During A Divorce
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.
Also Check: How To Avoid Paying Alimony In California
Tax Treatment Of Alimony
If any alimony is sought and especially if alimony is awarded both the obligor spouse and the receiving spouse will want to consider the tax consequences of such an award. How alimony will be treated for tax purposes depends on whether the alimony is to be paid on a periodic basis or whether it is to be paid in one lump-sum payment. For example, if John is ordered to pay Louise a single payment of $20,000 in alimony, the payment would not likely be tax deductible for John nor will it be counted as income for Louise. But if Sandra is ordered to pay Mark $500 in alimony each month, this periodic payment is likely to be tax deductible for Sandra and will be counted as income for Mark. It is therefore important that divorcing spouses consult with a financial or tax advisor if alimony is a part of their divorce.
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Equal Vs Equitable Distribution
The concept of equal distribution serves as a common baseline for property and liability division in divorce. Florida is an equitable distribution state in which a 50-50 split of marital assets is the baseline, which is then adjusted to be equitable or fair based on the following factors:
- The contribution each spouse made to the marriage, including contributions of time/labor for raising children and being a homemaker
- The economic circumstances of each party
- The marriages duration
- Interruptions to the educational opportunities or careers of either party
- Contributions from one spouse to the others educational opportunities or career
- The desirability for one party to retain a particular asset free from claims or interference from the other
- Each partys contribution to shared income and to marital and nonmarital assets and debts
- The benefit of retaining the marital home for raising a child of the marriage
- Any intentional wasting or destruction of marital assets after a petition for divorce was filed or within the preceding two years
- Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties
How Does Alimony Work In Florida
The first thing one should know about alimony in Florida is that there is no mathematical calculation in determining alimony such as there is with calculating child support.
The court has broad discretion to decide entitlement to alimony, the amount of alimony, the duration of alimony, and the type of alimony. There are, however, perimeters to which the court is bound.
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Work With An Attorney
Often, juries and some judges have the misconception that spouses asking for alimony are gold diggers. Its important to try to resolve the matter before having to resort to litigation, because with litigation, youre rolling the dice in a way. An experienced alimony attorney can help you put together a compelling case for alimony and can assist you in obtaining an agreement for alimony through mediation or arbitration, without the need for litigation.
Contact Kevyn Noonan Hayes, P.A. today to learn more about Florida alimony and what steps you need to take to obtain alimony. Call now at 239-591-6248.
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.
Also Check: How To Know When Divorce Is Right
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.
Factors In The Award Of Alimony
If one of the parties to the marriage committed adultery, the court may take this into account and consider the circumstances surrounding the adultery. The court will consider financial matters when setting alimony, including:
- The standard of living that each spouse enjoyed during the marriage
- How long the marriage lasted
- The age of each spouse and any physical and emotional impairments that may hinder earning capacity and economic needs
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- The economic position of each of the spouses, including marital and non-marital assets that are being distributed or retained under the divorce decree and the assumption of any debt incurred during the marriage
- Whether or not each spouse will require additional education or career training in order to find a job that will enable that spouse to support him or herself
- What contributions each spouse made to the marriage, both financial and otherwise, including:
Salary and other financial contributions
Support of a spouse in obtaining education and
Assisting a spouse in building a business or career.
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Current Alimony Laws In Florida
Floridas alimony law is set out in Section 61.07, Florida Statutes.
Its important to understand two things about alimony in Florida. The first is that just because you are married, it doesnt mean you are automatically entitled to alimony. The second is that alimony is a right of both spouses, not just women.
The reason women are awarded alimony more often than men is not because there is a bias in the laws in favor of women. It is due to the fact that most women make less money than man. When we do the calculations for alimony, we are usually using a higher income for men and a lower income for women. I have had cases in which the wife did have to pay alimony to the husband.
Florida law currently provides for:
- Temporary alimony during the litigation. See Section 61.071 of the Statutes.
- Bridge-the-Gap alimony, limited to 2 years. Its purpose is to help one party get back on their feet right after the divorce.
- Rehabilitative alimony, currently with no limitation. The purpose of this type of alimony is to help a party establish the capacity to support themselves. For example, finishing college, vocational training and the like. By its very nature, the duration will be limited..
- Durational alimony is defined rather confusingly. The statue defines it as alimony which is not permanent alimony. It is simply alimony for a certain amount of time and could be applicable to a short or long term marriage.
- Permanent alimony is just what it says.