ALIMONY AND SPOUSAL SUPPORT

ALIMONY AND SPOUSAL SUPPORT

Unlike calculating child support, under Florida law there is no calculation to determine alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance.

Case law interprets the alimony statute to assess whether there is an ability to pay versus whether there is an actual need for support. The spousal support lawyers in Naples at Long & Associates engage in a fact-intensive investigation into each party’s income, work history, spending habits and expenses. The amount of alimony and its duration vary based upon several statutory factors, including but not limited to, the duration of your marriage, the earning capacity of each party, and the mental and physical health of each party.

Spousal Support Attorney for How is Spousal Support and Alimony determined in Florida

A spouse requesting alimony may also have an obligation to obtain employment, even if he or she has not previously worked during the marriage. This circumstance arises in cases where one spouse was the sole source of income during the marriage.
But that same spouse cannot afford to pay the expenses for two separate households, so there’s a need for the spouse requesting alimony to contribute by becoming gainfully employed. Our spousal support attorneys in Naples are well-versed on a variety of tax issues that affect the determination of income which directly impacts alimony and the amount to be paid. This knowledge allows the spousal support lawyers at Long & Associates to effectively work with your accountant and financial advisor to successfully craft a reasonable alimony figure.

Types of Alimony

Our spousal support lawyers in Naples have assisted divorce clients in achieving all of the four types of alimony:  Bridge-The-Gap, Rehabilitative, Durational, and Permanent.

  1. Bridge the Gap is non-modifiable alimony awarded to assist a spouse to adjust to living on his or her own as a single person or parent. It may be awarded in marriages of short duration and its term cannot exceed two years.
  2. Rehabilitative Alimony is support paid to a spouse so that he or she can complete his or her education or training if it was interrupted by the marriage, or obtain a degree or certification so as to assist him or her to become self-supporting. Rehabilitative alimony may also include the cost of the education or training.
  3. Durational Alimony is often applied to marriages of 7 to 17 years of duration. The support obligation can last up to the duration of the marriage, pursuant to the statute. The duration is not modifiable, but the amount can be. The purpose of Durational Alimony is to provide financial assistance to a spouse, not to meet a “lifestyle” that he or she may have enjoyed during the marriage.
  4. Permanent Alimony is for marriages lasting longer than 17 years and its purpose is to meet the needs and necessities of life as established during the marriage. While this is commonly where spouses request that they have all of their expenses paid, case law suggests that “not every expense” may necessarily be included in calculating the amount of alimony. Permanent alimony also is awarded in certain circumstances where a party is considered unable to work due to a debilitating physical or cognitive condition that prevents them from being able to obtain employment.

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