Often referred to as maintenance or spousal support, alimony is a court-ordered provision that requires one spouse to provide the other economic support for a pre-determined period of time. Alimony is a very contentious issue; those dealing with this aspect of divorce are advised to seek assistance from respected Clearwater spousal support lawyers.
A variety of alimony arrangements are available for divorcing couples in Florida. Bridge-the-gap alimony is very common for divorces involving two spouses with full-time jobs. The payment schedule for this short-term approach to alimony typically does not extend past two years. The goal of bridge-the-gap alimony is to hep the recipient spouse while a home is being sold or some other short-term need is being fulfilled. Rehabilitative alimony is similar in many respects to bridge-the-gap spousal support, but is used to help the recipient spouse obtain the education or training necessary to become a self-supporting individual.
A variety of long-term alternatives to rehabilitative and bridge-the-gap alimony exist, including durational and permanent spousal support. In durational alimony, a spouse believed to be incapable of supporting him or herself in the next two years is awarded spousal support payments for a period of time not exceeding the length of the marriage. For example, if two spouses were married for twelve years before divorcing, the individual awarded durational alimony would receive up to twelve years of alimony payments. In permanent alimony, the recipient spouse’s need for economic assistance is deemed permanent, and thus, the other spouse is required to continue making payments indefinitely.
A variety of factors can be used to determine the level of alimony for which the recipient spouse is eligible. Two of the top considerations involve the length of the marriage and the standard of living experienced during those years. The ability of the spouse to become self-supporting is also considered, particularly if said spouse left the workforce for a significant period in order to raise children. In divorces spurred by adultery, the spouse charged with paying alimony may be forced to make greater payments than those involved in divorces in which adultery is not a factor.
Whether you believe you are eligible for alimony payments or are worried that you will be required to make payments in excess of what you can afford, it is in your best interest to seek the advice of an alimony lawyer such as Kinnear Smith. She will work hard to ensure that you are treated fairly by Florida’s legal system.