Tampa Alimony Lawyer
Even in dual-income households, it’s not uncommon for one spouse to have significantly more earning power than the other, nor is it uncommon for a career professional to leave the workforce to stay home and raise the children. For any number of reasons, when couples divorce, one party might not have the independent means or ability to immediately land on their feet and be self-supporting. In order to address the different types of financial needs that a divorcing spouse might endure, Florida law provides a vast range of spousal support options, also known as alimony.
If you are looking for financial support, whether it be short or long-term after your divorce, or if your future ex-spouse is asking you to assist with the expenses, the family law attorneys at Westchase Law P.A. can help you navigate any alimony issue in your Florida divorce in a smooth and exceptional way. At Westchase Law P.A., we take the time to listen and understand your needs, and we make certain that your goals are our top priority. For help with alimony and other issues in your family law matter, contact our experienced and dedicated Tampa alimony lawyers today.
Kinds of Alimony in Florida
An alimony award is not automatic in a divorce case. Any party seeking alimony must seek such relief from the court and prove that the financial support being sought is necessary and that the other party has the ability to pay. However, any party being asked to pay alimony can, of course, object to it, and unfortunately alimony is one of the most contested issues in a divorce, specifically because there is no set formula as to the amount of alimony to be paid. The standard for determining alimony is the need of the receiving party and the ability of the paying party.
There are ten factors enumerated in Florida Statutes that the court is required to considered when determining whether alimony is appropriate in a case, and the length of the marriage is one of the key factors. If your case is one in which spousal support is appropriate, then the type of alimony to award and for how long must be decided. Currently, Florida law recognizes the following five different types of alimony:
- · Temporary Alimony: This support is awarded on a temporary basis while the court case is pending. It is meant to provide temporary support for the time period from when the divorce is filed to when the final decree is issued. Temporary alimony cannot be waived in a pre or postnuptial agreement, so even if you waive the right to alimony post-divorce, you may still have the right to seek temporary alimony.
- Bridge-the-Gap Alimony: This form of alimony is meant to facilitate a party’s transition from being married to being single. It is designed to assist the party with legitimate and indentifiable short-term needs. Payments can be ordered for up to two years, but no longer.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: To receive a rehabilitative alimony award, the requesting party submits a plan outlining what they need to accomplish before they can become self-sufficient. Different people have different needs, so every plan is unique, but common features include a period of time to obtain higher education or vocational training, acquire work experience, or regain credentials and skills the party formerly had but gave up due to the marriage. The goal of this alimony is to assist in establishing the capacity for self-support.
- Durational Alimony: Durational alimony refers to support payments that are made for a set period of time to help the receiving spouse financially. Durational alimony may be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate and the purpose is to provide a party with economic assistance typically following a marriage of short or moderate duration.
- · Permanent Alimony: With permanent alimony, the court orders payments to be made indefinitely, although alimony could still later be terminated if the receiving party remarries or moves in with another person who provides support. The court will award permanent alimony when the requesting party isn’t financially able to meet the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage. Typically, the court will only make a permanent alimony award in cases where the divorce follows a marriage that lasted for 17 years or longer. For shorter marriages, the court is more likely to order durational alimony for a set period.
At Westchase Law P.A., we always strive to work out a resolution to the issue of alimony in a negotiated agreement that meets your needs. If an amicable agreement cannot be reached, we will move forward with litigating the matter in court. Rest assured that we put our skills and expertise toward getting a result that protects your rights and helps you reach your goals when it comes to alimony.
Florida Alimony Factors
The family law attorneys at Westchase Law P.A. will gather all necessary evidence to present a strong and convincing argument to the court that proves your case based on the factors set out in Florida law, such as which type of alimony is appropriate and for what amount and duration. These factors include:
- The duration of the marriage
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- Each party’s age and physical and emotional condition
- Each party’s financial resources, including the nonmarital and marital assets and liabilities distributed to each party under equitable distribution
- Each party’s earning capacity, considering aspects such as education, skills and employability
- How much each party contributed to the marriage including services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party
- The parenting plan and timesharing schedule adopted in the divorce and the responsibiltiies of each party
- The tax impact of an alimony award on each party
- All sources of income available to each party, including income available through investments of any asset
- Any other factors the court deems relevant and necessary to do justice and equity
Contact Westchase Law P.A. Today
The family law attorneys at Westchase Law P.A. are committed to making sure your needs and goals are met in your Florida divorce. Contact our experienced and dedicated Tampa alimony attorneys today.