If you are getting divorced in Orlando, Florida, you may wonder whether you are entitled to receive alimony or whether you will be required to pay alimony to your former spouse. The Aikin Family Law Group is an Orlando, Florida alimony lawyer who can review your situation and help you understand what your rights might be when it comes to collecting alimony. Basically, under Florida law, alimony or spousal support may be awarded if you cannot maintain the standard of living you enjoyed during the marriage. Alimony or spousal support, in most cases, is not designed to be long-term or permanent. Rather, it is awarded by the court, to give the lower-earning spouse time to get work training and get back on his or her feet. How much money you’ll receive, how long you’ll receive it, and whether you’re entitled to receive alimony at all will depend on many different factors. Unlike child support, there is no Florida statutory formula to help judges determine alimony amounts. The alimony you receive will depend entirely on the case you present to the judge and your unique circumstances. The Aikin Family Law Group are alimony lawyers in Orlando, Florida who may be able to help you build the best possible case for alimony and can help you if you expect that you may be required to pay alimony during your divorce. Contact us today to learn more.
How Alimony is Determined in Florida
Judges are permitted to consider several factors when determining alimony awards in Florida. What are these factors and how can they impact your alimony case? Here are some things a judge may consider:
- How long you were married. A longer marriage may warrant longer-term alimony awards. With longer marriages, certain standards of living and quality of life may be established for both parties. One partner may have been out of work for many years, or may have made long-term sacrifices to support the career ambitions of the higher-earning spouse. Older partners may be entitled to receive more long-term alimony, especially if the marriage was long-term.
- Age and health of each partner. If one partner is not healthy and isn’t likely to re-join the workforce, this can impact the kind of alimony award a judge might grant. The courts may also consider the emotional health of both parties. If one partner’s actions stemming from domestic violence or emotional abuse impacted the person’s ability to thrive or work, this might factor into the alimony award.
- Each party’s financial status. The courts will look at separate property, separate bank accounts, and other factors when determining whether an alimony award is warranted. Alimony is designed to help the lower-earning spouse enjoy a standard of living similar to the one enjoyed during the marriage until that spouse can recover financially. If the spouse will receive quite a bit of property or assets in the divorce, alimony may not be warranted or alimony awards may be reduced accordingly.
- Earning capacity of each partner. If one partner has a degree, but chose not to use it to raise the children, but may be able to use their degree going forward, this can impact how long alimony might be awarded. A judge may give this partner time to gain work experience to enjoy higher quality of life, but a long-term alimony award may not be likely. However, a partner who gave up school to support a partner and raise the children, may be entitled to receive longer-term alimony because work retraining and skills-building from this situation could take longer.
- If one partner stayed home to care for the children and will continue to care for the children as a single parent, this may be factored into alimony awards.
- Tax consequences. Alimony taxes have recently changed. The Aikin Family Law Group are Orlando, Florida alimony lawyers who can help you understand how alimony payments will impact your taxes. In the past, spouses who paid alimony were able to deduct alimony from their taxable income. This is no longer the case. The shared tax burden alimony places on both parties must be considered.
- The role each party played in the marriage. When couples get married, they become a team. One partner may stay home to raise the children. Another partner may support the other in his or her career or business. These sacrifices will be considered by the court when determining alimony awards.
These are just some of the factors the courts may consider when determining alimony amounts and how long alimony will be paid. If you are getting divorced or are considering divorce and have questions about what alimony you might be entitled to receive or what your alimony responsibilities might be, contact The Aikin Family Law Group today. Our Orlando, Florida alimony lawyers can review your situation, help you understand how to build a strong case, and fight to help you get the alimony situation that’s best for you.