Gainesville Personal Injury, Divorce and Alimony Attorney

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01/10/2014
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Alimony

Alimony

alimony

At Alba & Straile PLLC, we know addressing alimony can be overwhelming. Clients are concerned about how to pay bills, feed children and protect their future. This is true whether the client is defending against a claim that they should pay alimony, or the client is seeking spousal support. Our client-focused, results-driven attorneys can help you navigate the alimony minefield. Our attorneys may be able to help lessen the impact of alimony or obtain temporary support, for a place to live, continued health insurance coverage, and other expenses. This can provide clients the personal time necessary to cope with the transition from being married to being single.

At Alba & Straile, the goal is to secure a fair and reasonable alimony order. In Florida, alimony, maintenance, or spousal support come in many forms. Whether the client needs to receive or must defend against the establishment of an alimony award or the client needs to, collect, modify, terminate, or appeal an alimony or spousal support award, we can assist. Hiring a lawyer to help you achieve a client’s goals does not have to be difficult.

What is Alimony?

Alimony or spousal support is a payment that one spouse makes (Paying Spouse) to the other (Receiving Spouse) for their support, maintenance, or rehabilitation. These alimony payments are paid to the lesser-income spouse and are meant to aid with living expenses and provide stability. Duration and the amount of payments vary. Spousal support payments are different from child support payments and therefore are determined, enforced, and accounted for separately. Unfortunately, new spousal support or alimony payments are no longer tax-deductible to the Paying Spouse. Our alimony attorneys are well versed in the processes and calculations needed to establish, defend against, and collect alimony or spousal support. We are dedicated to assisting our clients achieve their best results, throughout the representation.

Determining alimony used to be largely left to the discretion of the judge. However, effective July 1, 2023, the State of Florida enacted laws that significantly reformed family law, including the award of alimony in a divorce.  Now there are limits as to the length and amount of alimony.  In addition, Florida abolished permanent alimony.

Who is eligible for Spousal Support?

The two principal considerations for alimony are the “need” and “ability to pay”. Alimony payments can only be awarded to a spouse in need and paid by a spouse who can afford to pay them. The judge will consider need
and ability as primary factors and supplement their evaluation with other considerations:

·      The duration of the marriage (short-term, moderate-term, long-term)

·      The standard of living established during the marriage,

·      The age, physical and emotional condition of each party, including any disability,

·      The resources and income of each party, including marital assets, non-marital assets, and liabilities,

·      The earning capacity, education, skills, and ability to obtain employment; or the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to find appropriate employment,

·      The contribution of each party to the marriage, including but not limited to services rendered in homemaking, childcare, education, and career-building of the other party,

·      The responsibilities that each party will have regarding minor children in common,

·      All sources of income available to either party,

·      All other relevant factors,

Alimony is not guaranteed and will not be awarded in every case. At Alba & Straile, we recognize the complexities of litigation, including alimony.

Types of Alimony in Florida

The state of Florida defines various types of alimony or spousal support. Each category is unique and employed for a different set of reasons. Spousal support terminates upon the death of either payer or recipient.

Temporary Alimony. Temporary alimony is given to the spouse-in-need during the period of separation before the divorce is final. Upon finalization, the courts may continue alimony in a different form or terminate payments.

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony. Awarded following the dissolution of marriage to aid in making the transition from being married to being single.  It cannot last more than two (2) years and may not be modified in either duration or amount.

Rehabilitative Alimony. This type of spousal support is meant to assist the receiving spouse attain self sufficiency. It is meant to provide the receiving spouse the opportunity to acquire the earning power or occupational training needed to be self-supporting. The order must include a “rehabilitative plan” that clearly outlines how the recipient will rehabilitate themselves.  The recipient is required to follow the plan.  The length of the award of Rehabilitative Alimony may not be longer than five (5) years.

Durational Alimony. This type of support provides economic assistance for a set time.  The amount of the award and the length of time that alimony is paid are limited to a percentage of the length of the marriage and the difference of the parties net income.

Lump-Sum Alimony. Lump sum alimony is a one-time payment made from one spouse to another. Direct and efficient, many clients prefer this option but ultimately lack the immediate funds. Moreover, one spouse can use it to reimburse the educational debt owed to the other.

In some cases, issues arise following the entry of an initial alimony order that present a need for subsequent proceedings to modify, terminate or enforce an award for spousal support. For others, there may be grounds that warrant an appeal. At Alba & Straile we represent clients in a full range of alimony matters. Clients have rights, we believe that clients should know their rights and should use them. Knowing the options when faced with economic change or financial uncertainty, including any remedies that may be available means that the client can make fully informed choices and collaborate effectively throughout the course of the representation.

Alba & Straile is focused on the client’s results and committed to providing our clients with compassion, attention to detail, and ease of attorney accessibility. Our Florida Alimony Attorneys can provide you with the sound legal representation necessary to effectively and efficiently address all your support-related needs. We represent clients throughout Florida. In all family cases, we must perform a conflict check and require a consultation fee. Please click, call, or text to set a consultation with an experienced litigator.

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