At first glance, alimony can be a highly confusing topic. When considering all of the legal speak and rules that are associated with determining who pays what and how much is to be paid, this aspect of divorce can become extremely dense and difficult to navigate. Fortunately, our firm has answered some frequently asked questions to help clear up some of the confusion.
What Are the Different Types of Alimony?
Florida allows for five different types of alimony:
Temporary alimony, also referred to as “pendent lite” alimony, involves supporting a financially dependent spouse throughout the duration of the divorce process. These payments usually end once the divorce is finalized. Bridge-the-gap alimony is a temporary payment plan for the purposes of helping the receiving spouse meet their short-term financial needs, such as living expenses while waiting for the sale of real estate. This type of alimony can last for a maximum of two years.
Rehabilitative alimony can be awarded for the purpose of financing educational or training goals to improve a spouse’s employment options. If these types of alimony do not sufficiently cover a spouse’s financial needs, durational alimony can be awarded that will last as long as the marriage itself.
In rare cases, a dependent spouse may be awarded permanent alimony to indefinitely meet their financial needs. Oftentimes, this is reserved for spouses who are deemed unable to become self-sufficient.
What Determines the Need for Alimony?
The courts will consider several different factors when determining whether alimony is needed and how much should be paid. If a spouse is deemed financially dependent, the courts must also examine whether or not the other spouse has the ability to pay. This involves a detailed examination of a couple’s financial situation and the unique circumstances of their marriage.
The courts will consider the following:
- The financial resources and property of the alimony-seeking spouse
- Both spouses’ incomes and investments
- The spouses’ educational and employment histories
- The standard of living established by the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- Tax consequences of alimony
- The responsibility of the spouses to care for any children
Can Alimony be Modified?
The short answer: sometimes. In order to seek a modification to an existing alimony arrangement, a considerable change of circumstances must be shown to warrant the proposed change. For example, a paying spouse may seek to have their alimony arrangement nullified or reduced if the receiving spouse finds gainful employment or suddenly comes into a great deal of wealth. It is important to note, however, that bridge-the-gap alimony cannot be changed under any circumstances.
Involved in an Alimony Dispute? Call
If you believe you are paying an unfair amount of alimony or are in the middle of a divorce, a Tampa divorce attorney from Catherine W. Real, P.A. can represent your interests and fight for a fair outcome on your behalf. Having provided top-rated legal advocacy for more than 35 years, Attorney Catherine W. Real can protect your rights in court and maximize your chances of securing the results you need. To get started, contact her office today to request a free consultation!