What is Alimony?
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a sum of money that is paid from one spouse to the other because of a divorce. Alimony can be paid as a one-time lump sum payment or in installments, over months or years. The reasoning behind alimony is to allow the poorer spouse to have the same or a similar lifestyle that he/she had during the marriage. For some spouses, these payments are critical to their financial security. Both men and women can receive alimony.
How much will I Receive for Alimony?
The legal alimony test in Florida is not based on a mathematical formula. It is a “needs” based test; one spouse needs alimony and the other has the ability to pay it. The length of a marriage also determines the likelihood that the court will award alimony to a petitioning spouse.
Different Types of Alimony
There are five different types of alimony:
- Permanent: This type of alimony is as its name suggests. It is permanent until the remarriage of the receiving spouse or the death of either the wife or husband.
- Rehabilitative: The idea behind rehabilitative alimony is to allow a spouse to become self-supporting. Here, alimony payments are not forever but are paid for a duration of time. The spouse seeking alimony usually has a plan to return to school or acquire job skills and the payor spouse would finance that plan.
- Bridge-the-Gap: This allows the husband or wife to make the transition from married life to single life. For example, a spouse in this situation may have to get a new apartment, afford health insurance on their own, or acquire reliable transportation. Bridge-the-Gap alimony cannot last for more than 2 years.
- Durational: Durational alimony is paid for a specific period of time, in cases where there is a short or moderate-term marriage. It provides financial assistance to the receiving spouse and ends if either spouse dies or the receiving spouse remarries. An award of durational alimony cannot go beyond the length of the marriage.
- Alimony Pendente Lite: This is also known as “lawsuit money.” It is temporary and can be provided from the date of the divorce filing, until settlement or trial.
How the Length of a Marriage Affects Alimony Payments
Marriages are placed into three different categories, according to duration:
- Long-term: a marriage that lasts for 17 years or longer;
- Moderate-term: a marriage greater than 7 years but less than 17 years; and
- Short-term: a marriage which lasts for 7 years or less
The length of the marriage will affect the type of alimony that a spouse can receive, the amount of payments and whether the award is modifiable.
Alimony Lawyer- Aggressive Representation for New Cases, Modification or Enforcement
Whether you have a new alimony case, modification on an existing case or you need to enforce an alimony order because you former spouse has stopped paying, Attorney Fletcher is dedicated to representing you. In new cases, she aims to get you the maximum amount of spousal maintenance that you are entitled to, whether through negotiation or trial. Similarly, she provides the highest quality representation if you need to modify or enforce a court order. She has fought for many clients who were in the same position as yourself. Reach out to us for a confidential consultation at 561-507-5772, and let us help you with any alimony situation that you are experiencing.