Alimony in Florida
In Florida, as in all states, the least expensive kinds of divorces are completed by couples who resolve to cooperate throughout the legal process. This necessitates drafting a written agreement detailing mutually agreeable terms of separation. One of the most important parts of this document has to do with any payments that will be made by one spouse to another. When awarding alimony in Florida, judges are free to take any factor into consideration they consider relevant. This means it is important for couples to be as detailed in explaining this part of their separation as possible.
It is still possible to receive permanent alimony in Florida. This means that when a couple which has been married for a long time, such as 30 years or more, separate, one spouse can request that continue receiving payments from their partner until they die, remarry or enter into a “supportive relationship.” This last term can be broadly defined.
Most spouses will likely be filing for “bridge the gap” or “rehabilitative” alimony is provided to spouses while they prepare to become financially self-sustaining.
Some spouses may also decide they would like to pursue a “lump sum” alimony in Florida, meaning that they will make a one-time payment in the form of money or property.
Regardless of the form of alimony requested, it is possible for spouses to draft a legally acceptable agreement without the help of a lawyer. Many online templates can be found online that can be used to draft an acceptable document to present to a judge. If couples cannot come to terms on this or any other issue but agree on the importance of coming up with a written agreement rather than relying upon the ruling of a judge, they may wish to hire the services of a lawyer specializing in divorce mediation.
When deciding what a reasonable amount of alimony is that is likely to be approved by a judge, both parties should consider their financial assets and gross income. An alimony payment plan is unlikely to be approved if it is inequitable in some way or places an unfair burden upon the person making the payments. Online alimony calculators may be able to give you a rough idea of what a realistic alimony award could be.
While judges are granted the authority to take into consideration any economic circumstance, some areas the law specifically states they are to take note of include:
• The duration of the marriage and the living of standard enjoyed by both partners during that time
• Both parties’ health, age, financial resources and assets
• Any available sources of income
• Contributions regarding childcare, obtaining education for another spouse and related issues
When two parties cannot agree on the sum of the requested alimony in Florida, one or both spouses may decide it is necessary to obtain private legal counsel to represent them in court. This will greatly add to the expense of divorce proceedings and is not a step to be undertaken lightly.