When going through a divorce, one of the most important legal issues to deal with is the duration and amount of alimony. Whether seeking alimony or defending against it, it is important to seek the help of qualified attorneys who can help you build a strategic course of action that aligns with your needs.
If you have concerns about fair and reasonable payments, look to our Naples alimony attorneys at Family First Legal Group. Our experienced team of attorneys and legal assistants will work together with you to pursue the outcome that you need.
Your case is important, and you deserve to always have someone available to help you and keep you fully informed about the progression of your case. Call (239) 319-4441 or complete our form to set up a consultation. We have two convenient locations in Naples and Cape Coral.
How Florida Courts Decide Alimony Payments
Alimony is not granted to everyone who seeks it. The courts consider several factors when deciding to award alimony.
The factors the courts consider include:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age of each spouse
- The physical and emotional condition of each spouse
- The couple’s available sources of income
- The need for the spouse seeking alimony to attend additional education or career training to obtain appropriate employment
- The contributions that each spouse has made to the marriage
- The marital standard of living
- The tax consequences of the alimony reward
- The responsibilities each spouse will have for any minor children of the marriage
The particular circumstances of each couple are also used to determine which type of alimony will be granted. Any type of alimony that is granted is for the purpose of helping one spouse maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, who without the help of the other spouse would be unable to do so.
How Alimony Is Paid: When Length of Marriage Is Taken Into Consideration
One of the factors that helps determine alimony in Florida is the length of a marriage. There are 3 classifications for marriages and they are broken down as follows:
- Short - The marriage lasted fewer than 7 years
- Moderate - The marriage lasted more than 7 years, but fewer than 17 years
- Long-term - The marriage lasted 17 or more years
How Long Do Alimony Payments Last?
Florida alimony law provides for the following types:
- Temporary - This alimony is awarded only during the divorce process, and finishes when the divorce is finalized.
- Bridge-the-gap - These payments are awarded for a short duration to assist one spouse as they transition from the marriage. This alimony is meant to cover short-term needs, is non-modifiable, and cannot exceed two years in duration.
- Rehabilitative - This financial support, much like bridge-the-gap, assists the payee spouse as they regain their ability to support themselves. However, the amount and duration is typically more involved than bridge-the-gap alimony. The spouse seeking these payments need to provide the details of their self-support retraining plan, including cost, duration, and how the plan will lead to the final goal of regaining self-sufficiency.
- Durational - This form of spousal support provides the payee with financial assistance for a period of time post divorce. The amount of alimony is highly modifiable with a proven change in circumstances for either spouse. However, the length of time the payer must pay alimony cannot last longer than the marriage. For example, if the marriage lasted for 3 years, the alimony may not be paid for more than 3 years.
- Lump-Sum - In a lump-sum situation, the alimony is paid as a specific amount at one time or in installments. This type is ordered only under specific circumstances.
A judge will determine which type to grant to a spouse based on what he or she determines is fair and reasonable under the facts of the case.
Can Alimony be Increased or Decreased?
If your divorce situation involves long term alimony, you may be asking if it's possible to adjust your payment amount as you and your ex-spouse's lives change. Different factors can change your payments, mainly if the spouse receiving the payments becomes involved in a supportive relationship as determined by the courts.
Speak With an Experienced Naples Alimony Lawyer
A divorce can be a challenging time. At Family First Legal Group, we offer compassionate support to our clients. With our award-winning representation, you can be sure that your voice will be heard and that your interests are protected. Backed by years of experience, our alimony attorneys in Naples have a complete understanding of Florida's alimony laws, allowing us to provide you the support you need during these difficult times.
If you’re dealing with a complex matter involving spousal support, our skilled Naples alimony attorneys are here to help. Contact Family First Legal Group online or call (239) 319-4441 to schedule a consultation. Let us advocate for your rights during your divorce today.