Boca Raton Spousal & Parenting Support Attorney
Our Knowledgeable Lawyers Take on Cases Throughout South Florida
A marriage is a partnership that intertwines the emotions, goals, and finances of two individuals. When a marriage is dissolved, navigating the separation of these elements is crucial.
Understanding how finances will be handled in the aftermath of a divorce often involves establishing agreements for spousal support (also known as alimony) and parenting support (also known as child support). These agreements allow spouses and their children to maintain the standard of living that they experienced during the marriage.
These matters can be complex, and the assistance of a legal professional is essential. Whether you are paying or receiving child support or alimony, our spousal and parenting support lawyer in Boca Raton can help you navigate the legal issues involved and arrive at a favorable resolution.
I don’t know how he does it, but he’s like a therapist and brilliant divorce attorney all wrapped up into what feels like a truly caring friend.E.C.
Types of Alimony in Florida
The family court judge can award whatever types of alimony are considered fair, based on the evidence and testimony provided to the court.
The different types of alimony which may be ordered include:
- Temporary: A temporary award, known in court as pendente lite, can be ordered during the duration of the divorce proceedings. If alimony is justified after the divorce, one of the other types of alimony may be granted in the final order.
- Bridge-the-gap: The court may award alimony for a brief period (up to two years) to give the former spouse time to reestablish themselves.
- Rehabilitative: Rehabilitative alimony is granted to enable the receiving spouse to acquire necessary education, job training, skills, experience, and credentials — or to reacquire these skills and credentials after an absence from the workforce — in order to become self-supporting.
- Durational: A durational award is one that is made for a set period of time, up to the length of the marriage.
- Permanent: Permanent alimony can be awarded to a former spouse who does not have the ability to meet their financial needs, and where no other form of alimony would be appropriate. Permanent alimony lasts until the death of one of the parties or until the recipient remarries. Permanent alimony is rarely awarded in the case of marriages which lasted seven years or less. If the marriage lasted 17 years or more, the judge is more likely to make a permanent alimony award, if the guideline factors call for it. For marriages that lasted between seven and 17 years, the court will only award permanent alimony if the evidence justifying the award meets the more difficult legal standard of “clear and convincing evidence.”
Helping Divorcing Parents, Same-Sex Couples, & Unmarried Parents with Questions of Parenting & Support
For divorcing couples who have children, issues of child custody and child support are often the matters of greatest concern to them. They want to know that their children will be properly cared for and supported, and that the divorce will not negatively impact their relationship with their kids. For same-sex couples who have children, they want to know and understand their legal rights. For unmarried couples, they want to protect their rights and the rights of the children. At the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, our attorney understands your concerns, and we have thorough knowledge of Florida law regarding child custody (parenting and timesharing) and child support. We provide effective representation to help you establish agreements with the other parent (or court orders, if necessary) that work for you and your family.
Parenting Plans & Timesharing
In Florida, parents are required to establish a parenting plan that outlines the process for making decisions regarding the raising of the children in areas such as education and extracurricular activities, health care, religious matters, and more. Additionally, this plan should include a timesharing schedule that sets out the amount of time each parent will spend with the kids.
Parents, or the judge in a contested custody case, develop a detailed parenting and timesharing plan based on the age and needs of the children.
Parenting plans typically address the following issues, at a minimum:
- Travel and transportation when exchanging parenting time
- Other logistics for the exchange
- The child’s school schedule and extracurricular activities
- How the parents will communicate with each other and with the children
- How changes to the schedule should be handled
- Religious holidays
- How emergencies should be handled
Parenting plans and timesharing schedules can be very detailed and include any matters particularly important to the family. In fact, the more detailed, the better. While flexibility is important, the more things which can be discussed and included in the plan, the more likely parents are to have smooth transitions and positive interactions with their children and each other.
At the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, we can help you work out a detailed and specific parenting plan with your spouse. As a Florida Supreme Court-Certified Family Law Mediator, David L. Hirschberg possesses the skills and experience to help you work through every aspect of a comprehensive, effective parenting plan. Whether in private mediation or in court, we are focused on looking out for your needs and those of your children to create a parenting plan that works.
Help with Florida Child Support Guidelines
Questions about whether one parent will be paying child support to the other, and how much, are addressed through the Florida child support guidelines, which take into account the number of children to be supported, the division of parenting time, and the combined incomes of the parents to arrive at a monthly child support amount. Other costs, such as childcare expenses, health insurance, and healthcare needs, may also figure into the support amount. Once the amount is determined according to the guidelines’ formula, the paying spouse will be ordered to pay in proportion to the percentage of parenting time allotted in the parenting plan and timesharing schedule.
Even though the amount of child support is set according to a formula and guidelines, the family court judge has the authority to deviate up or down from the guidelines amount. In fact, the judge can deviate as much as 5% from the guidelines amount for any reason, and more than 5% based on certain reasons, such as special needs of the child or the amount of time each parent spends with the children. If you are seeking to pay or receive less or more than the guidelines amount, or if you are challenging the other parent’s proposed deviation, you need the help of a knowledgeable, experienced attorney who can advocate effectively for your needs.
For help with your divorce or child custody matter, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg.
It is not uncommon for a Florida divorce court to order one spouse to pay alimony or support to the other spouse for a period of time to allow the former spouse to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage or transition to a new life on their own. However, orders of spousal support are not automatic. One party must request alimony and be able to justify the need for it. The other party, meanwhile, may object to paying alimony, and a court hearing may be necessary. Whether you are seeking or challenging an award of spousal support in your divorce, the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg can provide strong, effective representation to help you work out an agreement in family law mediation or represent your interests in court.
How Florida Courts Determine an Appropriate Alimony Award
The first step in an alimony case is for the party requesting support to establish the need for support and the other party’s ability to pay. Once established, the court will look at a variety of factors to determine what type and amount of alimony is appropriate.
Factors considered by the court include the following:
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s income from all sources
- The earning capacity of each spouse
- The financial resources of the party requesting support
- The time and cost needed to get education and job training
- The age and health of the parties
- The contribution each spouse made to the marriage in terms of money, as well as homemaking, childcare, and supporting the other spouse to gain education or build a career
To discuss the issues in your divorce, including seeking or challenging an award of spousal support, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg at (561) 763-7622.
What Sets Us Apart?
- 30 Years of Combined Experience, Professionalism, & Ethical Representation
- Zealous Advocacy While Simultaneously Promoting Amicable Resolutions
- Attorney David L. Hirschberg is Florida Bar Board Certified in Marital and Family Law