Understanding Types Of Alimony

Alimony is also called spousal support or maintenance. It is a concept that allows a spouse with superior financial resources to support a former spouse up to the point that they can support themselves. It is also meant to ensure that each spouse maintains their former life status after a divorce. Alimony may either be awarded as a lumpsum, by monthly installments, or by combining the two options. Awards for maintenance require compelling arguments that prove that a spouse requires financial support to either support their former living standards or to help them get on their feet. It is advisable to hire a divorce lawyer to help make a strong case that ends in an order for alimony. Here is some basic information about the types of alimony in Florida and the circumstances under which each of them is awarded.

According to Florida Law, spousal support is awarded under the following circumstances:

  • To even the gap between a spouse with superior financial resources and one with meager financial resources
  • To be rehabilitative
  • To help a person become financially independent

Types of Alimony

Alimony in Florida is not the same as punitive damages. While punitive damages are meant to punish the wrong doer, alimony ensures that both parties in divorce get a fair ruling in terms of financial well being. It is a means of recognizing that one spouse has more skills and resources than the other and is much able to support themselves going forward. The court’s judgment on alimony in Florida is based on the length of the marriage.

Marriages can be classified as follows:

  • Short-term – A marriage that does not last beyond seven years
  • Moderate-term – A marriage that lasts for 7-17 years
  • Long-term marriages – A marriage that lasts beyond seventeen years

Temporary Alimony

This type of spousal support is awarded during divorce proceedings. It is also called alimony pendent lite. Temporary alimony is terminated once the court grants a divorce decree and replaced by any of the other types of alimony in Florida.

Rehabilitative Alimony

When a spouse wants to pursue vocational skills training or an education program so they can get employment and be self-sufficient, the court awards them rehabilitative alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded based on a specific plan. The court will give the order of rehabilitative spousal support by the duration of the program, associated costs, the period that spouse will be working as an apprentice, and the time required for the spouse to become self-sufficient. However, a spouse paying or receiving the alimony requests for a modification of the order on the grounds of a change in circumstances or where the receiving spouse deviates from the plan. Unlike other alimony awards, rehabilitative alimony in Florida does not end with the death of the receiving or paying a spouse or when the receiving spouse remarries.

Durational Alimony

In cases involving short or moderate-term marriages, the court may order for durational spousal support. This type of alimony in Florida comes as a fixed amount spanning over a set period that does not exceed the duration of the marriage. For example, if the couple seeking divorce lived together for two years, the durational alimony should not exceed two years. However, if there is a significant change in circumstances, the court may allow for a modification of the award. The modification only applies to the amount of alimony and not the duration of the award. Durational alimony in Florida ends when either the receiving or paying spouse dies or if the receiving spouse marries someone else.

Bridge-the-gap Alimony

This award helps the spouse move from being married to living as a single person. It helps allocate the funds that cater to identifiable and foreseeable bills that help one start a new life without a spouse. Bridge-the-gap alimony in Florida ends when either the paying or receiving spouse dies or if the spouse receiving remarries.

Permanent Alimony

This type of alimony in Florida is given for moderate and long-term marriages. However, under special circumstances, it may be awarded for short term marriages. Permanent spousal support will be granted if a spouse cannot achieve the living standards of the marriage in terms of basic needs or life necessities. Before granting permanent alimony, the court will consider the life of the couple during the marriage. A person who is used to a lavish lifestyle will be awarded spousal support that helps them live up to a similar lifestyle after they get divorced. The court may modify permanent spousal support if there is a change in circumstances or where the receiving spouse gets into a relationship where they are receiving support from someone other than a relative. Like many of the other types of alimony in Florida, permanent alimony ends when either the paying or receiving spouse dies or if the receiving spouse remarries.

Factors Affecting Alimony Awards

The court usually frowns upon adultery and will review the circumstances leading to adultery when awarding alimony in Florida. Therefore, for spouses who have committed adultery, there is the need to hire an experienced divorce lawyer to improve the chances of getting an award for alimony. Generally, the court usually considers the following financial matters before granting alimony. This includes:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The living standards that the couple enjoyed during their marriage
  • The age of both the receiving and paying spouse and any emotional or physical impairments that may affect their economic needs and ability to make a living
  • The marital and non-marital assets of both parties and the debts incurred during the marriage
  • The need for career training or education for any of the spouses to get employment and be in a position to support themselves
  • The contributions that each spouse made during the marriage including; child care, homemaking, salary, financial contributions, supporting a spouse in their education bills, or assisting a spouse in building a business or pursue a career

The Importance of Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

There is no telling how a divorce case will turn out. In most cases, the terms of a divorce will usually favor one party. This is the case if one spouse is found guilty of adultery or where one spouse has superior financial resources. Most people hire a divorce lawyer to improve their chances of a fair ruling after a divorce. A divorce lawyer is involved in much more than litigation and will ensure his/her client gets a fair ruling on alimony. Some of the roles played by a divorce lawyer include:

  • Submitting the divorce case in court
  • Serving spouses with divorce papers
  • Reviewing the facts of the case and building a strong case for clients
  • Pushing for a suitable alimony award
  • Negotiating in settlements before a case goes to trial
  • Representing the client in court and pushing for fair terms of divorce including alimony and child support

The outcome of a divorce case, including the terms of the divorce such as alimony, is dependent on each spouse’s legal representation. It is the job of the divorce lawyer to build a strong case that justifies the award for alimony among other conditions.

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3 Things Happy Couples Do That You Should Too

There are many reasons why relationships work or don’t work for the individuals involved. Making relationships work requires more than just pointing the finger, but also taking accountability for each person’s part in whatever relationship problems persist. There are several happy relationships to model after, using their ‘secrets’ to being in a successful relationship. However, if there are issues that are going unnoticed, there are remedies to help bring these concerns to the surface and also provide a resolution. Also, if there aren’t any current relationship problems, people can benefit from knowing how to prevent future dilemmas and improve their confidence in their union.

Couples Therapy

There’s been quite some controversy on the effectiveness of couples therapy when it comes to healing relationship problems. Some people go into these sessions with the intent of making their relationships work, but end up realizing that it’s probably best to split. In fact, some studies report that up to 38 percent of couples who receive marriage counseling get divorced within 4 years of finishing therapy. This is not to say that the counseling is ineffective because it is also important to note that research done by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists shows that 97 percent of families and couples who have attended family and couples therapy session said that they received the help that they needed (Tasker, n.d.).

A huge reason why couples therapy is unsuccessful for some couples is that they use it as the final resort. When some individuals choose to try couples therapy, it is not necessarily about how to make relationships work. Instead, it is to see if their relationship can survive the months and many times years of unaddressed dissatisfaction and/or traumas. Therapy doesn’t and shouldn’t be an option someone considers after exhausting all of their choices. It is proven to be very beneficial as it allows a specialist who is qualified to manage the complex relationship dynamics and tackle individual issues. In many cases, a couple may take their arguments to a family member or friend which results in a very biased interaction in many cases. Having a mediator and outside perspective from someone who holds no preconceived biases can offer the couple the objective and critical advice needed to improve their communication.

When looking for a specialist, both individuals should make sure that they both find a therapist that they can agree upon and resonate with. Couples therapy should be utilized at the beginning of a relationship to build an understand and establish a healthy foundation of communication between the two parties involved. One person may be predisposed to walking away during a heated argument, whilst the other just wants to talk immediately. A couples therapist can help create standards and boundaries for future arguments so that communication improves to prevent any plausible long-term resentment or discontentment. Be mindful that therapy doesn’t need to be frequent, but consistent.

Small Romantic Gestures

There is the idea that after a couple surpasses the ‘honeymoon phase’ of their initial relationship, everything seems to mellow out and become dull. For some reason, it’s very common that after a few years of involvement, happy couples grow a bit distant of each other. When a couple first gets together, there is usually this concept of courting where there are endless dates, long conversations on the phone, romantic weekends, and intimate gifts. The overall cadence of a new relationship brings forth new and refreshing energies. This doesn’t have to stop as couples progress through their engagement. Small romantic gestures are one of the many traits that produce and maintain happy relationships. Small romantic gestures that are consistent demonstrates a continued commitment to the partnership(Verdolin, 2015). Romance shouldn’t just be reserved for Valentine’s day or rare occasions. Instead, in making relationships work and prosper, couples can do small, everyday actions to show their appreciation and love to their partner.

Types of romantic gestures:

  • Dancing (attending a concert or a workshop)
  • Help carry bags to show one another appreciation and cooperation
  • Massages after a long day at work to display appreciation
  • Exchange gifts (something that is personal to them)
  • Hold hands in public as a symbol of appreciation and reassurance
  • Give compliments to each other
  • Prioritize time together by arranging a date or movie night

Maintain Identity

As mentioned above, during the honeymoon phase, many happy couples can’t resist but to be around each other constantly. At first, it can be an overall exciting and intimate experience. However, as time passes, these happy relationships undergo a bit of exhaustion and the two parties want their space. Too much of anything is not healthy. In fact, there are plenty of happy couples that have their own rooms. When sharing a space with someone every day, it doesn’t give a person much room to be alone with their thoughts. Everywhere they turn, they likely see this person which can be especially problematic after an intense argument or disagreement. Lack of personal space can lead to feeling fatigued, feeling overwhelmed, and/or feeling trapped. Making relationships work does require communication, but communication is not needed at all times. Sometimes making relationships work demands a little distance to look at the relationship problems from afar.

It is not just emotional space that is necessary, but physical space is also significant in providing a sense of independence for both which allows the relationship to grow and flourish. If the relationship is based on ‘completing each other’, then that is called codependence which stunts growth and is also called meshment (Kim, 2018). To make relationships work, it is important to have a healthy perspective on self-love and acceptance which requires a person to become a whole piece themselves instead of seeking their ‘other half’. Happy couples understand the magnitude of self-love. Too often people hold the belief that someone outside of themselves is supposed to complete them and in pursuing that ideal, they find themselves filling a void with people who carry many of the same traits that they were familiar with since childhood. These partners that they attract can exhibit dysfunction, but because it is so familiar, the individual subconsciously repeats the same ‘cycle’ of trauma. Being conscientious of oneself as well as knowing one’s personal boundaries within as a singular person is highly recommended in making relationships work prior to being in the union to ensure the partnership is genuine.

Happy relationships do take conscious effort and a little compromise. Making relationships work, however, doesn’t mean that someone compromises themselves or their independence. It’s okay to maintain individualism within the partnership while also reassuring the partner through romantic actions. Making relationships work means not just being honest with each other but with one’s self. If a person is unaware of what they want out of the relationship, it can result in a host of problems. Chemistry doesn’t equate to compatibility one must be sure of their own interests and standards in making relationships work effectively. By emulating the traits of people in happy partnership, both people will find how easy it is in making relationships work in their favor with little to no tension and a lot of love, understanding, and empathy.

As much as we want your relationship to workout, sometimes divorce IS the right answer.

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The Challenges You Might Face With Filing A Divorce In Florida

Divorce in Florida can be a necessary process in many instances. Marriages often end because one or both partners is truly unhappy. It can lock people into unhealthy or abusive relationships because of societal and financial connections. For these and other individuals, divorce is the option that they pursue for their Florida marriage. But divorce is not an easy process in Florida or any other state. Individuals have to spend months of effort and sometimes thousands of dollars finalizing a divorce. This process can be arduous even for people interested in an uncontested divorce.

Fees

Divorce of all kinds can be costly. The costs are prominent for both kinds of divorce. The two main kinds of divorce in Florida are a contested and an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both parties have mutually agreed upon the particulars of their divorce. They have decided the fate of their house and how they will split all of their assets. A contested divorce is one where both parties will instead rely on judges and lawyers to dole out their assets and any child custody arrangements. An uncontested divorce still costs money.

Couples in Florida without minor or dependent children can file a simple divorce and end their marriage after paying several hundred dollars. These individuals still have to appear in court for the final hearing and may have to spend money selling a home or splitting other assets. A contested divorce, or an uncontested divorce with minor children involved, takes a considerable amount of time and effort from both parties.

These fees can be difficult for millions of Floridians to handle. Divorce is an expensive process that is piled onto all of the other expenses that an individual already has to pay for. 1/5th of all Americans do not have any money in their savings accounts. For many of these individuals, even the cost of a simple divorce fee can force them into debt. The time required for divorce also creates an expense that many people simply do not know how to handle. Many individuals cannot simply take off of work during the week in order to appear at hearings and meet with judges. Such problems are amplified considerably if one party in a divorce is particularly belligerent.

Time

One understated challenge of a divorce in Florida is the time that the process takes to complete. Many individuals in Florida who have decided on divorce have most likely spent months or years attempting to save their marriage. But they still have to wait even longer once they apply for divorce. An uncontested divorce in Florida can take a few months. This divorce is “no-fault” and does not require a finding for either party.

But a contested divorce can take a considerable amount of time. There are numerous waiting periods and legal deadlines that both parties have to meet. There is a court-imposed period of mediation where both sides attempt to hammer out their differences between their attorneys. Then, there may be a trial that may take several months or even years. Cases can be delayed and motions can be filed almost endlessly. All of this time means more money that has to be paid to the lawyers involved.

The Process Of Contested Divorce

Uncontested divorce is challenging enough as it is. But contested divorce can be significantly more difficult. In a contested divorce, both sides begin by contacting their attorneys and filing paperwork. They contact a judge and receive temporary orders that decide on the state of assets and child custody while the case is ongoing. Then, the case goes through mediation. Both sides and their attorneys meet with a mediator who is trained on how to achieve a compromise that is well-respected by both parties. The process of mediation is followed by a legal case where both sides present their arguments on divorce disputes to a judge. These individuals go through the discovery process where evidence is collected. A deposition is taken from both parties where they cannot lie under penalty of perjury.

What To Do

Anyone looking to overcome the challenges of divorce in Florida needs to keep a few aspects of the process in mind. First, they need to show that they have gone through every reasonable step possible in order to save their marriage. An uncontested divorce in Florida needs to be pursued in many cases. While divorces in the case of abuse are often quickly processed by the courts on the side of the victim, other divorces are much less clear-cut. When abuse or neglect are not concerns, individuals need to be able to prove to their attorney and a judge that they did as much as they possibly could for their marriage.

Individuals also need to make sure that they are careful with their actions and their interactions with their former partner. Any negative communications with a former partner can result in potential problems or evidence later on in the divorce in Florida process. Finally, individuals need to contact an attorney early on in the process. Attorneys like those at the Erin Morse Law Firm often have years of experience and a wealth of advice on how an individual should handle the divorce in Florida process. They know what individuals must due in order to secure the best deal possible from their particular divorce circumstances.

Conclusion

Divorce in Florida can be a painful, time-consuming process that ranks as one of the most difficult periods of any individual’s life. The difficulty of this process is one of the reasons why many couples go through the extra effort of marriage counseling. Florida has created incentives for individuals to stay in the legal union of marriage and attempt to work out whatever issues have arisen in their marriage. When this process still fails, individuals have to enlist the help of an attorney at a group like the Erin Morse Law Firm. Attorneys will serve as advocates and go through a rigorous work process in order to help individuals with their divorce in Florida cases. An attorney is often the main reason most individuals can make a divorce work to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.

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