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.
The law with regard to alimony was updated on July 1, 2023. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the Court may grant alimony to either party in the form or forms of temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, or durational alimony, as is equitable. The Court may also order periodic or lump sum payments. The Court may no longer award permanent alimony as it has been abolished; however the new law is not retroactive and only affects pending cases or cases that have not yet been filed.
The Court may consider the adultery of either spouse and any resulting economic impact in determining the amount of alimony to be awarded. The Court may award a combination of forms of alimony or forms of payment. In determining whether to award support, maintenance, or alimony, the Court must first make a specific, factual determination as to whether the party seeking support, maintenance, or alimony has an actual need for it and whether the other party has the ability to pay support, maintenance, or alimony. The party seeking support, maintenance, or alimony has the burden of proving his or her need for support, maintenance, or alimony and the other party’s ability to pay support, maintenance, or alimony. There are specific factors the Court must consider and weigh. Ms. Solomon can explain those factors in detail and how they apply to your specific case.
There is a rebuttable presumption that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 10 years, a moderate-term marriage is a marriage having a duration between 10 and 20 years, and a long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 20 years or longer. The length of a marriage is the period of time from the date of marriage until the date of filing of an action for dissolution of marriage.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded to provide support to a party in making the transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony assists a party with legitimate identifiable short-term needs. The length of an award of bridge-the-gap alimony may not exceed 2 years. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the obligee. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony is not modifiable in amount or duration.
- Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to assist a party in establishing the capacity for self-support through either:
- The redevelopment of previous skills or credentials; or
- The acquisition of education, training, or work experience necessary to develop appropriate employment skills or credentials.
- Durational alimony may be awarded to provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time. An award of durational alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the obligee. The amount of an award of durational alimony may be modified or terminated based upon a substantial change in circumstances. Durational alimony may not be awarded following a marriage lasting less than 3 years. The length of an award of durational alimony may not be modified except under exceptional circumstances and may not exceed the length of the marriage except in certain exceptional circumstances. An award of durational alimony may not exceed 50 percent of the length of a short-term marriage, 60 percent of the length of a moderate-term marriage, or 75 percent of the length of a long-term marriage. Under exceptional circumstances, the Court may extend the term of durational alimony by a showing of clear and convincing evidence.
Whether you are seeking spousal support or struggling with another divorce matter, Ms. Solomon is qualified to represent your interests.