When a marriage is dissolved, the court may order alimony payments. Alimony is money or other assets that one spouse may be ordered by the court to pay to the other spouse. The purpose of alimony is to meet a spouse's future financial needs and to help achieve a fair division of the assets of the two spouses.
There are three types of alimony in Florida:
In a situation that involves alimony, it is important to discuss the issues and specific details with a qualified family law attorney who can guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
If you are seeking alimony from your ex-spouse in DeFuniak Springs or any of the surrounding areas of the Florida Panhandle, including the counties of Okaloosa, Washington, Walton, Holmes, Santa Rosa and Escambia, contact the Adkinson Law Firm. The father-son legal team is knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s divorce and alimony laws.
Our firm has experience helping clients gain positive outcomes in even the most complex alimony cases in the Florida Panhandle. Call Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at about your questions regarding alimony in Florida.
Rehabilitative alimony is usually used to help rehabilitate or support the receiving spouse for a fixed period of time. This is ordinarily until that spouse can renew old skills or obtain new skills with which to support him or herself. In deciding whether to award rehabilitative alimony, the court will consider whether or not there is a real probability of rehabilitation the person requesting alimony. At the end of the fixed period of time, it will automatically stop without further court action unless you ask the court to extend or exchange it.
Permanent alimony is a payment which continues indefinitely until the remarriage of the spouse receiving it or until the death of either of the parties. It is used to provide the needs and the necessities of life for a former spouse as they have been established during the marriage of the parties. The two primary elements to be considered when determining permanent alimony are the needs of the receiving spouse for the funds and the ability of the paying spouse to provide the necessary funds.
The needs of one spouse for the funds are determined by the court’s consideration of each of the parties’ earning ability, age, health, education, as well as the length of the marriage, the marital standard of living, and the value of the parties’ estates.
The ability of the other spouse to provide the necessary funds is determined by the court’s consideration of both parties’ net income, net worth, past earnings and the value of each of the parties’ assets. Any responsibilities to other dependents, for example, the need for support of children from a former marriage or aged parents, may be considered when determining a spouse’s financial ability to pay alimony.
In considering the health of the parties, the court may wish to consider not only the physical and emotional health of each of the parties but also any limitation of activities imposed on either of them. The court will almost certainly want to consider whether the other party had anything to do with causing this problem or aggravation of it.
Lump sum alimony is a payment of a set amount. Lump sum alimony creates a right that survives the death of both parties and cannot later be changed or canceled. Lump sum alimony may consist of money, property or other things of value. It may be payable all at one time or in payments over a period of time.
The basic requirements for an award of lump sum alimony are that there is a justification for the award and there is a financial ability of the paying spouse to make such payment without substantially endangering his or her economic status. Under Florida Law, there are several things the court will consider when making the decision to award alimony. First, the court takes into consideration the standard of living established during the marriage.
The court also considers the duration of the marriage, age, physical and emotional health of each of the parties, financial resources of each of the parties as well as the time necessary to obtain education or training to enable a party to find appropriate employment. In addition, the court considers the contribution to the marriage by each party whether by way of work and income or by way of raising the children and keeping house. Finally, the court will consider what sources of income are available to each of the parties.
Generally, all these things determine whether alimony will be paid as well as the amount and type of alimony that the court will order. For example, the more a spouse earns, the more support he or she may be required to pay. A spouse with a small income would not be expected to pay as much as one whose earnings are very high. The court attempts to be as fair as it can to both parties.
Because alimony may entail large sums of money or the transfer of substantial wealth, legal representation to protect your rights will be a good investment. Additionally, if you believe that you have assets that may be subject to ligation in a dissolution of marriage (divorce proceeding), this is just another reason that obtaining legal counsel in these complicated issues may be worth the effort and the money.
Florida Statutes Online – This link is to Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes, which contains the state’s laws regarding divorce, child custody, and alimony issues.
First Judicial Circuit of Florida – The First Judicial Circuit serves Okaloosa, Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties and the circuit courts have jurisdiction over family matters in Florida. This link provides access to information on divorce and alimony issues in the First Judicial Circuit. The Okaloosa County courthouse is located at:
Okaloosa County Courthouse
101 James Lee Blvd. East
Crestview, Florida 32536
Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a consultation about your divorce and alimony issues in the Florida Panhandle. Clay and Clayton Adkinson are experienced DeFuniak Springs family law attorneys who will make every effort to help both parties achieve the type of alimony they are seeking.
Adkinson Law Firm, LLC represents clients throughout Okaloosa County, Washington County, Holmes County, Santa Rosa County, and Escambia County. Call or submit an online form for a free initial consultation.