Alimony is an allowance ordered by the court to be paid by one spouse to the other for maintenance and support while the case is in litigation and/or after the divorce is final. The purpose of alimony is to assist the lower income spouse. In Florida, either spouse can request alimony, and either spouse can be compelled to pay it. Alimony can be paid periodically, such as monthly, or in one lump sum.
There are different types of alimony.
- Temporary alimony is the amount paid temporarily either by agreement or court order until the divorce is finalized. The amount is set based on each party's current standard of living and current ability to pay.
- Permanent alimony is the amount paid until either spouse dies or until the recipient spouse remarries or cohabits with another person in a marriage-like relationship. The marriage must have been long-term, there must have been a disparity in the incomes of the spouses, and the recipient's income from all sources must fail to meet her or his needs.
- Bridge-the-gap or "short-term" alimony is the amount paid to meet short-term financial difficulties that occur during the transition from married life to single life. It is commonly an option in short-term marriages.
- Rehabilitative alimony is the amount paid to cover education, training, and/or certification costs necessary for a spouse to enter or re-enter the workforce. A plan that names costs, time frames, and employment prospects must be made.
- Durational alimony is an amount paid over a longer period of time. It is an option when permanent alimony is improper.
- Lump sum alimony is an amount paid at one time. Rarely used by the courts, it requires unusual circumstances requiring a non-modifiable award of support.
Any of these types of alimony can be non-modifiable and cannot be changed under any set of circumstances. Both parties must agree to this during divorce proceedings.
At Parker & DuFresne, P.A. we will carefully discuss with you whether you are entitled to alimony or if you will be required to pay alimony. Because the court accounts for many factors in determining whether to award alimony, it is important that we evaluate factors such as the length of the marriage, the financial situation of the parties, the age and health of the parties, and whether there has been domestic violence. We examine the earning capacity of the dependent spouse by looking at education, vocational skills, childcare needs, and length of time out of the workplace.
There are extenuating circumstances regarding alimony that the attorneys at Parker & DuFresne, P.A. can handle for you. If the other party tries to hide or limit income in order to avoid having to pay alimony, your attorneys will use every resource available to discover and disclose this. In another situation, a prenuptial agreement that addresses alimony may have been signed. Parker & DuFresne, P.A. attorneys will examine the validity of your prenuptial agreement, and if necessary, they will argue its terms in court.
Parker & DuFresne, P.A. serves clients in Duval, St. Johns, Clay, and Nassau counties. If you are dealing with alimony issues, it is imperative that you be pro-active in seeking the legal advice and representation of an experienced Parker & DuFresne, P.A. attorney as soon as possible. Waiting to do so could negatively impact your ability to achieve a positive resolution to the matter. Protect your legal rights by contacting Parker & DuFresne, P. A. at 904.733.7766 or at http://www.jaxlawcenter.com to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At Parker & DuFresne, P.A., our skilled family law attorneys are ready to represent and protect your interests during alimony proceedings.