Florida courts sometimes order one spouse to pay spousal support – or alimony – to the other spouse for a defined length of time following a divorce. The purpose of spousal support is so that one spouse who depended on the other for support during the marriage will be able to continue receiving support following the divorce – though sometimes, spousal support orders continue for years.
If you have questions or concerns about spousal support, an experienced family law and divorce attorney in the Boca Raton area can provide answers.
When Does Spousal Support Make Sense?
Spousal support is not supposed to enrich one former spouse at the expense of the other, post-divorce. Courts typically find it makes most sense where there existed a great disparity of income or power within the marriage.
Spousal Support in Florida is a Balancing Act
If one spouse worked as a stay-at-home parent and served as a full-time caregiver to the couple’s children, the court may find that it is appropriate to order spousal support as the stay-at-home parent adjusts to life after the divorce. They may need to go back to work – either full or part-time – gain additional schooling or training, arrange childcare, move, etc. and these things take time and money.
The court typically understands that it may take a little while for one spouse to stand on their own two feet again. At the same time, one person cannot be expected to support their former spouse forever, at the expense of moving forward in his or her own life. There are various types of spousal support remedies available to the court, including temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent alimony.
Factors Considered in Spousal Support Decisions in Florida
The court will consider many factors in determining whether spousal support is appropriate, and if so, what type, in what amount, and for how long. Some of these relevant factors include:
- The length of the marriage;
- Whether one spouse stayed home with the children as primary caregiver;
- The amount of resources each party contributed to the marriage, both monetary and non-monetary;
- Whether one party supported the other while he or she attended school or started a business;
- Both parties’ income and earning capacity;
- The standard of living the parties were enjoying as a married couple;
- The expenses associated with obtaining necessary job training and education, if necessary;
- The ages and health conditions of both parties.
Consult an Experienced Spousal Support Attorney in Florida
If you are concerned that you may be ordered to pay spousal support by the court, or are seeking a spousal support order following divorce proceedings, our experienced spousal support and family law attorney in Florida can help. Spousal support is meant to be fair, and whether you believe you may need a support order to get by, or you need to reduce the amount of support you may owe, it is important that you work with a skilled attorney at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, P.A. who can look out for your best interests.