What is Alimony?
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is court-ordered financial support. Usually one spouse pays the other for a period of time during or after a divorce proceeding. The purpose of alimony is to help the recipient provide for his or her needs until they are self-supporting, or for the spouse to enjoy a similar standard of living as he or she had during the marriage.
Initially, the court will consider two things when determining if this support is appropriate: need and ability to pay. Both conditions must exist for the court to award alimony. If so, the court fixes the amount and duration of time of alimony payments. An experienced attorney promotes your interests during this crucial time.
Types of Alimony
Your lawyer will help you understand the various types of financial support:
- Permanent: Support paid on a regular basis for an indefinite period. It usually terminates upon death of either spouse, the remarriage of the recipient, or cohabitation (living with someone) of the recipient.
- Rehabilitative: Support that gives the recipient the resources necessary to develop skills and training that will allow him or her to become financially independent. This could be returning to college or vocational school, or obtaining a license. Usually accompanied by a plan for the recipient to achieve financial independence from the ex-spouse.
- Bridge-the-gap: Support that provides immediate funds for the ex-spouse to acclimate to a new life. This may be awarded on a temporary basis (to secure an apartment or car). It may also be an amount paid in one lump sum or over several payments.
- Durational: Temporary support that doesn’t fall into the categories of rehabilitative or bridge-the-gap. Its duration cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
- Temporary: Support paid during the actual divorce process.
The state of Florida has no set formula for determining alimony. Instead, the court looks at a variety of factors:
- Length of marriage
- Physical condition of both spouses
- Emotional condition of both spouses
- Age of both spouses
- Spousal contribution to the marriage, including homemaking and child care
- Financial worth and resources of each spouse
- Standard of living maintained during the marriage
As you can see, the determinations made at this juncture potentially impacts you for years to come. Call Carl today and have your concerns heard by the court.