Making The Case For Alimony
Going through a divorce requires you to change and grow in ways you may not always be prepared for. If you have spent part of your marriage as a stay-at-home parent or let your own career stagnate in favor of supporting your spouse’s goals, you likely have concerns about your ability to make a living and how you will support yourself while meeting your monthly obligations.
Getting an order for alimony in Florida can be a significant step in establishing your independence. In addition to the length of your marriage and your financial situation, there are a variety of factors that the court considers in making an alimony award, as well as different types of alimony depending on your situation.
Are You Eligible For Alimony?
Under Section 61.08 of the Florida State Statutes, alimony may be awarded by the judge to either party in divorce proceedings. In making these awards, the court looks not only at your financial needs, but also at your spouse’s ability to pay. The length of time you were married and the standard of living you and your spouse enjoyed together are both significant factors, as is your age and physical health. Additional factors the court will consider in making an alimony award include:
- Your financial resources: This includes your income as well as any savings accounts, stocks, or property you own separate from your spouse;
- Your joint assets: The distribution of marital assets in your divorce could be a factor in alimony awards;
- Your earning potential: This takes into consideration your education level, any vocation skills and special training you possess, as well as whether you are currently employed;
- Your contributions to the marriage: Situations which could justify an alimony award include staying home to care for children, or putting your own career on hold to support your spouse in their job or educational endeavors;
- Your current responsibilities concerning children: While the court is in favor of shared parenting plans, having a greater portion of this responsibility that interferes with your ability to work could justify an alimony award.
Types of Alimony Available
In addition to determining your eligibility for alimony, the court will also decide on the type of alimony you are entitled to receive. Under Florida law, there are four basic types of alimony:
- Bridge-the-gap, provided on a short-term basis to help you get back on your feet;
- Rehabilitative, which allows you to pursue career education or training;
- Duration; which is awarded for a specific period of time;
- Permanent, generally awarded in long marriages to maintain standard of living.
In considering your rights to alimony, it is important to realize that adultery will make you ineligible to receive, and any amount you do receive will need to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service on your yearly tax return.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help with Your Case
If you are considering a divorce and have questions about alimony, contact the Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC today. We can advise you on your rights, and assist in building a strong case in your favor.