Alimony, also known as spousal support, is frequently a point of substantial contention in a divorce. Furthermore, judges have a lot of discretion in determining whether a spouse should pay or receive alimony, and in what amounts.
Florida recently revised the laws regarding alimony. Although the impact of these laws remains to be seen, there is no doubt that the changes in these laws will make an impact in divorces throughout the state. If you have questions or concerns about the role these new laws will play in your divorce, contact Alan Robert Burton, Attorney at Law, to schedule a free and informative consultation. I have offices in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale.Talk to an Experienced Palm Beach County Divorce Lawyer About the New Alimony Guidelines
The new alimony guidelines went into effect on July 1, 2010. Courts must first make a determination that one spouse is in need of alimony. Then the court will decide what type of alimony is appropriate for the particular situation. In Florida, there are four different kinds of alimony:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony — This is intended to ease the transition of a spouse from being married to newly single.
- Rehabilitative alimony — This type if used to help a spouse become self-sufficient.
- Durational alimony — This is a new form of alimony in Florida, which was created by the recent legislation effective as of July 1, 2010 and can now be awarded for a limited period of time.
- Permanent alimony — This is a set amount for an unlimited period of time that can be modified with court approval.
Also new under the law are objective standards for categorizing the length of a marriage. Courts will presume that a marriage lasting less seven years is a short-term marriage; a marriage lasting over seven and up to 17 years is a moderate-term marriage; and a marriage lasting longer than 17 years is a long-term marriage.
Generally speaking, permanent alimony may only be granted in moderate- and long-term marriages, although permanent alimony may be granted in certain instances in short-term marriages, depending on the unique facts of each case.
Courts will also consider additional factors when determining whether or not to award alimony. Some of these new factors include the earning capacities and employability of each party, the responsibilities each party will have as to minor children, and the tax consequences of any award.Contact Alan Robert Burton, Attorney at Law
The new alimony guidelines create a number of additional considerations that I would be more than happy to discuss with you. I have more than 35 years of legal experience and will be able to outline a strategy to achieve your goals. Call (954) 229-1660 or my cell at (954) 295-9222 or email my office to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your particular situation. I maintain flexible office hours to discuss your family law issues.