Defending Your Financial Future In Alimony Negotiations And Litigation
Conflicts over spousal support or alimony can be contentious because each party may have a different perspective on what constitutes a fair agreement. In Florida, judges do not have state guidelines to follow to determine awards. Instead, they use their discretion when ruling on this matter.
Working with an experienced lawyer can help you present a compelling argument for your side. At Carol Joyce Solomon, P.A. Attorney at Law, attorney Solomon regularly assists Broward County and Palm Beach County clients with alimony disputes. She has the skill set you need to get favorable results in court and in negotiation sessions.
Educating You On Your Options
There are many types of spousal support/alimony in Florida to include: pendente lite/temporary, permanent periodic, durational, rehabilitative, and bridge-the-gap alimony.
- Pendente lite spousal support (a form of temporary support) — Pendente lite support is spousal support paid after the filing and through the pendency of the divorce. To determine whether temporary support will be paid, and the amount of such support, the court uses a calculation based on each spouse’s earnings, the need of the spouse requesting support and the ability to pay support. The amount of temporary support is not representative of how much, if any, other alimony will be awarded. A party can obtain pendente lite support even for a very short marriage while that same party may not qualify for any other type of support after the divorce. Either spouse may petition for pendente lite support. This issue usually only arises in “contested” divorces.
- Permanent periodic alimony (after divorce) — Permanent alimony is alimony that is paid until either spouse dies or the spouse receiving the spousal support remarries or cohabitates with a person for a period. In the case of cohabitation in a supportive relationship, alimony may cease, be reduced or be abated: depending on the facts of the case. An award of permanent spousal support is discretionary with the court. Whether or not the court awards permanent spousal support is based on many factors including, but not limited to, the length of the marriage, the relative financial abilities of the parties, the need of the spouse seeking support and the ability of the other spouse to pay the other spouse, the amount of property divided between the parties, and numerous other factors. The amount of spousal support/alimony is also based on these factors and is discretionary with the court. Either spouse may petition for permanent spousal support, as support is gender neutral.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony — A court may award up to two years’ support after the divorce. Usually, this type of support is awarded to allow one spouse to get on his or her feet financially.
- Rehabilitative alimony — A court may award rehabilitative alimony for a spouse to receive additional training or education when the recipient spouse has a specific plan as to such advancement. Rehabilitative alimony is usually based on the relative financial abilities of the parties as well as the duration of the marriage and the benefit to the spouse and/or child(ren) of the requesting spouse furthering his or her education or career. Either spouse may petition the court for rehabilitative support.
- Durational alimony — Durational alimony is a meant to be awarded in cases of short- to mid-term marriages, where no other type of support would be sufficient. Durational alimony gives the court broad discretion as to the number of years of support (duration) to grant, based upon the specific facts and the circumstances of the case. It can be awarded up to the length/duration of the marriage.
Whether you are seeking spousal support or struggling with another divorce matter, Ms. Solomon is qualified to represent your interests.