Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a court-ordered payment made from one former spouse to another after the dissolution of a marriage. If you are considering divorce or have already begun the process, it’s important to understand the laws surrounding spousal support in Florida and how those laws may impact your settlement. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining and paying spousal support in the Sunshine State.
In Florida, there are five types of alimony available depending on the individual needs and circumstances of each party. They are bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony, permanent periodic alimony, and lump sum alimony. Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to help a spouse transition into single life by providing financial stability for a short period of time after the divorce. Rehabilitative alimony assists a spouse who needs additional education or training to become self-supporting. Durational alimony is designed for long-term marriages where one spouse may not be able to become self-supporting but requires assistance until they can do so. Permanent periodic alimony applies when one spouse cannot become self-supporting regardless of their efforts and may be paid out over an extended period or lifetime. Lastly, lump sum alimony is typically used when one party has difficulty making monthly payments or wishes to pay off their obligations quickly with a single payment.
The courts consider several factors during spousal support determinations including income and assets of both parties; age; mental health; physical health; educational background; vocational skills; future earning potential; duration of marriage; contribution to marriage (financial/nonfinancial); standard of living during marriage; need for training/education/rehabilitation etc.; contributions made toward education/career development of other party; contribution to career interruption due to child rearing responsibilities etc.; ability of payer spouse's ability to pay; tax implications etc., There are some limitations on these factors such as age being limited only if either party is 65 or older at time of divorce decree entry date. In addition, health insurance must be provided if ordered by court unless both parties agree otherwise in writing (notarized).
When divorcing couples cannot come to an agreement regarding spousal support payments on their own, Florida family law practice will step in with regard to any disputes that arise between parties concerning this issue. It’s important for anyone who finds themselves in this situation understands all aspects involved with getting or paying spousal support according to laws within their state before taking action against exes during this difficult time. If you live in Orlando, we recommend consulting with an experienced family law attorney familiar with local regulations about spousal support for advice tailored specifically for your case. With the right legal guidance and representation from a professional family law practice like ours here at Frank Family Law Practice, you can ensure that your rights are protected throughout this challenging process. Contact us to learn more.