The average divorce lawyer will define alimony as payments given by one spouse to the other after a divorce to help them get back on their feet. In Florida, state legislature allows that a husband or a wife can receive alimony payments if they need them. Having a knowledgeable divorce lawyer on hand can determine whether those alimony payments will be permanent or temporary. The circumstances of the marriage matter and a divorce lawyer can protect an individual’s rights whether she wants to receive alimony payment, or she wants to defend herself from having to pay it to an ex-spouse.
THE DETERMINING FACTORS OF ALIMONY PAYMENTS
1. Length of the Marriage
The law uses six distinguished factors that will play a big role in alimony. First, the length of marriage plays a role. Based on Florida law, people will usually be ordered to pay for alimony on longer marriages that were over 12 to 14 years long. With a short-term marriage of only three years, people will rarely be required to pay alimony.
2. Skills Needed to Be Self Sufficient
Another factor that a judge looks at comes from the time needed to gain skills and become self-sufficient. It’s important to note that in most cases, people will only have to pay this for a period of time, but for longer marriages, there have been cases where it succeeded.
3. The Age, Physical and Emotional Well-being
The third factor looks at age, physical and emotional wellbeing on both sides. Someone who has a physical disability may be more likely to receive permanent alimony because they won’t be able to take care of themselves otherwise.
4. The Financial Resources
The fourth factor looks at the financial resources of both parties. If it looks imbalanced, the judge might order the one to pay alimony so that they can transition more easily. This is in addition to their earning capacities. Any divorce lawyer in Orlando will tell a person that the goal of alimony is not to hurt the other party. People get this twisted sometimes because of the high emotions in a divorce. The goal is to help the other person to get back on their feet after a loss of income, and if this can’t be proven that their life will be any different, they most likely won’t win their case. It also looks at the financial ability of the other person to be able to pay it.
5. Standard of Living during the Marriage
Fifth, the judge looks at the standards of living during the marriage to decide if the other party should pay alimony. If their lifestyle was drastically different before, to have them lose that lifestyle has become one of the reasons that someone might have to pay alimony in Orlando.
6. Contribution in the Marriage
The final factor looks at what an individual contributed during the marriage. Some of the factors that a qualified divorce lawyer in Orlando will present include:
- Child care
- Career building for the other party
- Homemaking services
When this factor gets looked at, they look at all angles, not just the monetary factors. This could mean that one parent acted as a stay-at-home mom or dad while the other went to work, but this cut down on babysitting costs. As a result, one spouse may have sacrificed career opportunities or earning potential as a result.
THE TYPES OF ALIMONY
Having a good divorce lawyer on hand can help a person to draw out the different types of alimony payments. Florida recognizes six different types of alimony:
- Lump sum
- Rehabilitative alimony
- Bridge-the-gap or transitional alimony
- Durational alimony
In most cases, permanent alimony has been reserved for those marriages that lasted over 17 years. Rehabilitative in the state of Florida classifies as when one spouse wants to pursue an education or form of job training to make herself more hirable. With a lump sum, this often gets rewarded as part of the sale of the division of property that they held during the marriage. Durational is more of a temporary form, and this happens for no longer than what the marriage existed for. Finally, there is the form known as bridge the gap, and this helps the divorced individual to make a transition from married life over into single life.
FULL DISCLOSURE OF FINANCES
When an individual visits the Orlando court with her divorce lawyer, she should keep in mind that the state of Florida will require that she fully disclose a few things. For example, within 45 days of filing a petition in Orlando, the full disclosure of the following finances is required:
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
- Personal financial statements
- Credit card statements
This helps the judge to determine the circumstances surrounding the divorce.
HOW TO JUGGLE ALIMONY AND CHILD SUPPORT IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Florida courts have the right to order the non-custodial parent to pay child support. They use the following factors in Orlando to determine this:
- Child’s needs
- Ability to pay for the parent
- Number of children needed to support
In some cases, Florida courts will also look at the behavior during the marriage. For example, were there cases of adultery within the marriage? When individual go to pay for both, the thing that every divorce lawyer in Orlando will tell a client to juggle the payments is that they have to keep this in mind when filing for their taxes. While they can deduct payments for alimony, they won’t be allowed to deduct them for child support in Orlando. The payments toward alimony count as a form of income, but child support does not count as a form of income.
FLORIDA: A NO-FAULT STATE
Based on the no-fault state laws, a married couple doesn’t have to give a reason when it comes to divorce in Florida. They can simply say that they want to end the marriage. Based on this information, the Florida courts in Orlando will divide up the property based on what seems fair. Having a good divorce lawyer can protect a person to ensure that they get more of a 50/50 division. The reason a divorce lawyer will often ask if there was infidelity in the marriage is that this can determine the division of the property and how much alimony has to be paid.
In Orlando, it’s best to hire a qualified divorce lawyer who understands the intricacies of Florida divorce laws. Every state differs when it comes to divorce, which is why a person needs a divorce lawyer from the state of Florida when residing in Florida. Hiring a divorce lawyer from out of state could be a big mistake because of how the laws for divorce in each state will differ. She can also guide a person through the process so that it becomes as pain-free as possible, and they will fight for the individual’s rights so that they don’t have to unnecessarily pay for alimony.