Going through a divorce can be scary and stressful. One of the main issues is worrying about finances and how you are going to pay the bills after the separation. A legal vehicle of divorce to resolve this is alimony.
What is Alimony?
In legal terms, alimony is a court-ordered payment from one spouse to another before, during, or after the divorce. Typically, the spouse with more significant financial resources supports the other until they can take care of themselves. Sometimes alimony is permanent but often temporary.
Under Florida law, alimony payments are referred to as maintenance.
There are a few types of alimony in the state. They are:
- Temporary: This type lasts only during the divorce proceedings and ends when the divorce is final.
- Bridge-the-Gap: Another type called bridge-the-gap provides for the spouse while he or she gets a job or secures their financial life going from married to divorced.
- Rehabilitative: This type is for a specific purpose to help the spouse gain better employment, attend school, or pursue other qualifications allowing them to make a living.
- Durational: Durational alimony is for a specific period of time, based on the individual circumstances of the couple and their financial situation.
- Permanent: Often awarded in long-term marriages, when one spouse is unable to become financially comfortable, the alimony will continue permanently. This type may end if the receiver gets remarried and is financially supported by their new partner.
How to Get Alimony
Florida alimony is calculated on a case-by-case basis considering the need of one partner and the ability to pay the other. A judge will factor in all the facets of the case before making their determination. Generally, this is achieved using a “need and ability” test. Although alimony can pay for living expenses, it also considers keeping someone in a financial situation that they have become accustomed to while being married. In many cases, the lifestyle to be maintained may be luxurious.
Another thing that a court will look at is how long the marriage lasted. A long-term marriage is usually 17 years or more. Another issue is the age and ability of each spouse to make money and take care of themselves. If either party has any physical or mental ailments affecting them that will also come into play. Another factor is what each party contributed to the marriage, both financially and otherwise. For example, if one spouse stayed home and managed the home, finances, and raised the children, that is a significant contribution that will be factored in.
Help Getting What You are Worth
You deserve to remain in the same financial situation that you enjoyed while being married. The question of alimony can quickly become complicated when emotions are high. It’s a good idea to consult a law firm well versed in alimony and the laws of Florida. Yaffa Family Law Group can help you get what you are worth. Call us today for a complimentary strategy session.