Choosing Whether to Seek Alimony in Your Divorce Case
Recovering financially after a divorce can be a challenge. After years of relying on your partner’s financial contributions, you may find yourself falling short in terms of the total amount of income needed to support the type of lifestyle you were accustomed to during your marriage. In addition, the amount of property you own, such as a home, car, and furnishings, is likely to be reduced as the result of marital property division, and you may lack the funds to replace items you lost. To avoid these types of difficulties, you may want to seek alimony payments in your divorce. Even if only on a temporary basis, it can help you get back on your feet career wise and in terms of your overall budget.
Are You Entitled to Alimony?
Under Section 61.08 of the Florida Statutes, alimony may be awarded as part of your divorce settlement on a temporary or permanent basis via monthly payments or a lump sum settlement. In general, it is usually reserved in cases where the couple has been married for a certain period of time and when one of the parties makes significantly less than the other. There are four different types of alimony that the judge may consider:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony, which provides a temporary amount while you adjust to life post divorce;
- Rehabilitative alimony, which helps offset expenses while you get job training or re-establish yourself in your career;
- Durational alimony, which is awarded for a specific period of time, such as until you remarry;
- Permanent alimony, which entitles you to a portion of your spouse’s income on an indefinite basis.
Factors to Consider When Requesting Alimony
Factors which could make a judge more likely to award alimony in your case include:
- The total amount of non-marital property you and your spouse possess;
- Any educational or career sacrifices you made for the sake of supporting your family or your spouse in their career;
- Any voluntary work or efforts made in support of a business owned by your spouse;
- Any contributions you made in increasing the amount or value of property and assets during the marriage;
- Any marital property and assets squandered by your spouse, either as the result of poor decisions or due to factors such as spending money on an affair or addiction.
When considering alimony as part of your divorce settlement, it is important to consider the tax ramifications. Under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines, alimony is taxable as income, while your spouse may write off payments as a deduction. While this may be advantageous for your former partner, it could put you in a bind. You may want to consider seeking a larger marital property settlement amount instead.
Contact Us Today for Help with Your Case
Before making any decisions which could have a negative impact on your future financial security, reach out and contact attorney Vanessa L. Prieto first. We can arrange a consultation with our Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer, who can advise you on the best course of action in your case.