Alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, can be awarded in certain cases. Florida law does not utilize alimony guidelines or calculations. Rather, case law interprets the alimony statute to assess whether there is an ability to pay versus whether there is an actual need for support. Our Firm engages 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.
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, ergo, a need for the spouse requesting alimony to contribute by becoming gainfully employed. Our attorneys are well versed on a variety of tax issues that affect alimony awards for both payors and payees. This knowledge base allows us to effectively work with your accountant and financial advisors to successfully resolve matters.
Our attorneys have assisted divorce clients in achieving all of the four types of alimony: Bridge-The-Gap, Rehabilitative, Durational and Permanent.
As mentioned above, alimony may (or may not) be modified after the entry of the original divorce judgment. An alimony modification is when a party re-opens his or her case and makes an application to the Court to modify, or change, either the amount of alimony or its duration.
Unlike Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Texas, Florida does not have alimony guidelines. Without more guidance from the Florida Legislature in determining the amount and duration of alimony, parties and their counsel can take disparate positions which can result in protracted litigation.
Over the past few years, you may have read that several attempts have been made at the legislative level to implement alimony guidelines and abrogate permanent alimony. To date, that legislation has not passed, but it has been brought before the Florida Legislature for the past several years and we anticipate the same will occur in 2017. Should any changes occur, we will have an updated analysis and explanation of the new law and its nuances on our website.
Florida is one of 40 states that utilize Equitable Distribution when determining how to characterize and distribution marital and non-marital assets and liabilities.
Equitable Distribution begins with the premise that assets and liabilities acquired and incurred during the marriage are presumed to be marital. Florida has strict definitions of what qualifies as a marital asset and what qualifies as a non-marital asset.
While Florida used to award what was formerly known as “special equity” that has since been abrogated and in some instances a party can seek an “unequal distribution” of the marital estate.
Examples of assets are real estate, (the marital home and investment property), brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, bank accounts, IRAs are all distributed in a dissolution proceeding. Examples of liabilities are mortgages, lines of credit, credit cards and notes payable. Property that includes a combination of assets and liabilities, such as a business, corporation, LLC or partnership are discussed separately under “Business Valuation” and we encourage you to review that section of our website.
Providing the Naples, Florida community with Marital and Family Law services since 2000, our attorneys, paralegals and staff at Long & Associates, P.A. apply progressive solutions to your legal and personal needs.
Naples Family Law Attorney
Address: 5185 Castello Dr. Ste. 2 Naples, FL 34103
Telephone: 239 316 1600