Experienced Boca Raton Spousal Support Attorney
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 to transition to a new life on his or her 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, P.A. in Boca Raton can provide strong, effective representation to help you work out an agreement in family law mediation or represent your interests in court. Contact our Boca Raton spousal support attorney today, we can help.
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, child care, and supporting the other spouse to gain education or build a career
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 the following:
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 himself or herself.
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 his or her 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.”
Get Help with Spousal Support Issues from a Florida Board-Certified Family Law Attorney
To discuss the issues in your Florida divorce, including seeking or challenging an award of spousal support, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, P.A. in Boca Raton at 561-288-8620.