Alimony and Spousal Support
If you are a stay-at-home parent, you may be worried about whether you can still receive alimony in a two-income world If you are the higher-earning spouse, you may wonder if you will be able to support yourself once you start paying alimony.
The prospect of divorce can be very worrisome to a spouse with limited job experience or earning power. In the past, spousal support was primarily available to women. Today, however, with many women out-earning their spouses, and many men taking on primary childcare responsibilities, men also receive spousal support.
In both of these cases, Feldman & Schneiderman, P.L. can help you. While alimony laws are constantly evolving, alimony still exists. It takes a knowledgeable and assertive attorney to set out a strong case for alimony, and it takes a knowledge and assertive attorney to defend against claims for alimony.
By representing both husbands and wives, the Boca Raton divorce attorneys at Feldman & Schneiderman, P.L. do not limit their experience or knowledge solely to one gender. Don’t be fooled by law firms advertising that they represent only husbands or only wives. You need attorneys who are familiar with both sides of the alimony coin and who have handled cases for both sexes.
What is Spousal Support?
Alimony — or Spousal Support, as it is often called today — is the payment of money by one spouse to the other after a divorce. Its purpose is to limit any unfair economic advantage one party may have gained over the other during the marriage by awarding financial relief to the spouse who is limited in the ability for self-support.
Types of Alimony
There are several types of alimony or spousal support recognized by Florida courts:
- Temporary alimony — granted until the final disposition of the divorce. In a case where one spouse was a traditional homemaker and the other was the sole wage-earner, the working spouse can be required to continue paying the marital bills during this period and to contribute to the attorney’s fees and costs of the spouse without a job or access to funds.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony — awarded to help a person make the transition from married to single life. This type of spousal support is generally given for no more than two years and is meant to help the spouse find housing or a job and to move toward self-support.
- Rehabilitative alimony — awarded to a spouse who needs time to acquire new skills or to reenter a career that was interrupted during the marriage.
- Lump-sum alimony — one or more large payments paid directly from one party’s share of the distribution of the marital assets to the other party.
- Durational alimony — may be granted when permanent alimony is inappropriate. It generally applies to marriages of intermediate duration (7 to 16 years of marriage), and the alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
- Permanent periodic alimony — paid on a monthly basis generally until death of the paying spouse, death of the recipient spouse, or remarriage of the recipient spouse.
The lawyers at Feldman & Schneiderman, P.L. are highly experienced, and have an outstanding reputation for achieving fair and reasonable spousal support awards and defending against overreaching claims for alimony.
How is it Decided?
In the state of Florida, alimony or spousal support must be decided before the court establishes child support. Many factors enter into a decision about spousal support, including:
- The duration of the marriage
- The standard of living enjoyed by both partners during the marriage
- The health, age and financial resources of both partners
- Available sources of income, including wages, salaries, commissions, gifts, inheritances and investment income
- Either spouse’s contribution of time to childcare
- Contributions by either spouse to the education of the other spouse
The court may also consider adultery or other types of marital fault in awarding spousal support but, generally, only if marital fault has led to dissipation or waste of marital assets.
How Can We Help?
The lawyers at Feldman & Schneiderman, P.L. are attuned to the changes in the laws affecting spousal support in Florida. We understand how to work with these changes.
Today, for example, durational alimony — as opposed to permanent alimony — is a viable option for marriages that lasted between 7 and 17 years, where alimony is needed for a certain length of time, but no longer than the length of the marriage itself. It can also be an alternative to permanent alimony even in marriage of 17 years or more.
By analyzing your financial circumstances, and, in some cases, employing forensic accountants and vocational rehabilitation consultants to provide expert testimony, we can advise you of the best course of action.
Child support is payment, on a regular and ongoing basis, meant to benefit a child after the dissolution of a marriage or other relationship. According to Florida law, each minor child has the right to the support of both parents — including the non-custodial parent, the one who does not live with the child.
The two most important factors in child support are the amount of money to be paid and the need to enforce regular payments.
We analyze the financial data carefully to secure the best possible child support agreement for you. And, in the event of a deadbeat parent, we use all legal means necessary to ensure that you receive complete payments on a regular basis.
For all Family Law matters, including Divorce, Alimony, Child Custody and Prenuptial Agreements, in Boca Raton, Palm Beach and Broward.