Divorce poses many financial considerations and difficulties, not the least of which is determining how much child and spousal support may be involved. We have extensive experience representing clients who have unusual financial circumstances, including seasonal income, commission-based income, overtime, bonuses, and per diem, as well as retirement plans and pensions.
It is important to consider all your child’s expenses, including medical and daycare costs, as well as any extraordinary expenses. Our skilled and dedicated attorneys at Kenneth D. Morse, P.A. can thoroughly evaluate your financial situation and help you understand what you can expect.
Alimony (spousal support) is not automatically awarded in divorce cases. Typically, alimony is included in a divorce settlement when a significant difference exists between the income and earning potential of a husband and wife. In this sense, alimony functions to ensure both parties can maintain a certain standard of living after the dissolution of their marriage.
The court has an interest in making sure neither party ends up facing impoverishment. As such, alimony is not punitive; it is not intended to punish the spouse who must pay it and reward the spouse who receives it.
In Florida, there are several types of alimony under statute. The appropriate type of spousal support largely depends on the length of a marriage. Short-term marriages are those less than seven years. In these situations, alimony is not usually appropriate unless you can show an exceptional circumstance. Moderate-term marriages are those more than seven years but fewer than 17 years. Those marriages longer than 17 years are often given permanent alimony. Bridge-the-gap and rehabilitative alimony are available in marriages of all lengths.
Depending on the statutory criteria, the family court will determine how long alimony should be in effect and how much should be paid. In general, the following kinds of alimony arrangements are possible in Florida:
- Permanent alimony: Permanent alimony is presumed in long-term marriages (in excess of 17 years) and is based on eight factors in Florida Statues, including ability to pay, financial need, each spouse’s contributions during the marriage, and capacity for self-support.
- Lump sum alimony: This type of alimony is a certain dollar amount of support which can be paid in a lump sum or in payments. Typically, lump sum alimony is rarely granted. It can’t be changed (non-modifiable) and is only awarded in exceptional circumstances such as no children, substantial assets, and no further reason for the parties to have a continuing relationship.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony: This type of alimony is relatively new in Florida and is meant to ease the transition of one spouse from married status to single status. The amount is determined taking into consideration the needs of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay alimony.
- Durational Alimony: This is often awarded in marriages of 7-17 years in duration, and can be for as long as the length of the marriage. The court is guided primarily the need for alimony, the ability to pay it, and the standard of living last enjoyed by the partner in an intact marriage.
- Temporary alimony: If one spouse in a marriage is unable to support themselves prior to the final settlement of a divorce, alimony may be assigned to ensure they have the means to support themselves.
Regardless of whether you are eligible to receive alimony or are required to pay it, inaccurate financial information will detrimentally affect the result. We work hard to protect your rights and financial situation. To schedule an appointment, Contact The Law Office of Kenneth D. Morse, P.A. today.