Alimony & Spousal Support Lawyers
Divorces dissolve marriages, thereby legally separating a couple. This separation is not just literal and physical, but it applies to all aspects of the marriage. As each individual leaves the marriage, each individual becomes fully responsible for his/her own life. For individuals who make little to no income, or for individuals who require special assistance to enter or reenter the workforce, alimony/spousal support may be necessary.
To understand which form of alimony you may qualify for as a recipient or as a payor, you should contact an experienced Boca Raton divorce lawyer.
Types of Alimony in Florida
In the state of Florida, there are many varying types of alimony and/or spousal support. The type and scope of the court-ordered alimony usually depends on any of the following:
- The length of the marriage
- At-fault evidentiary support
- The assets, property and debts of each spouse
- The income and expenditures of each spouse
- The standard of living before the divorce
- The projected standard of living after the divorce for each spouse
- The paying spouse’s ability to pay
- The type of employment of each spouse
- The recipient’s set of skills, talents and work abilities
- Disabilities of either spouse
- The presence of small children
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage (including homemaking duties)
- The physical and emotional state and well-being of each spouse
Once these considerations are factored in, family courts will determine:
- If spousal support is necessary;
- The amount and duration of the spousal support; and
- The recipient and the payor.
If you believe that you qualify for alimony and/or spousal support, allow a divorce lawyer in Boca Raton assist you. While it may seem simple, there are times when the process of establishing alimony can be very difficult. Due to the varying conditions of the divorce, there often exists tension and animosity between spouses. If infidelity occurred during a marriage, for example, (especially if the infidelity led to the actual divorce) a spouse may feel uncomfortable providing financial support to his/her spouse. Whether you are or will be the payor or the recipient, you should express your concerns to a Boca Raton divorce attorney at the Law Offices of Theodore H. Enfield, P.A.
The purpose of bridge-the-gap alimony is to assist a spouse with adjusting to the new way of life after a divorce so that he/she has a healthy transition. It is used to help an individual take care of immediate and short-term expenses following a divorce. Bridge-the-gap alimony is short-term. It cannot last longer than two years. If an individual is selling a house, for example, he/she may be awarded bridge-the-gap alimony until he/she is able to encounter a state of stability and self-reliance.
Durational alimony is unique to other forms of spousal support because it is directly contingent on the duration of the marriage. For example, if a couple is married for seven years, then durational alimony cannot be paid for more than seven years. In other words, the length of the marriage is a direct representation of how long alimony will be required.
Permanent alimony, as the name implies, is paid to the recipient for his/her full life. In most cases, permanent alimony only ceases when:
- There is a death of the payor
- There is a death of the recipient
- The recipient remarries
In order to protect and ensure that you continue to receive permanent spousal support, it is ideal for the payor to create a life insurance policy. As such, the recipient’s alimony will continue long after the payor dies. There may, however, be an adjustment in the amount of money that is received.
Because permanent alimony is meant to last for the full duration of one’s life, it can be difficult to make changes. Modification of permanent alimony requires proof of a decrease/increase in income of either the payor or the recipient. If the recipient earns a job with a higher salary, for example, the payor may be ordered to pay less.
If you are looking to modify your alimony arrangement, you should contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Boca Raton.
Rehabilitative alimony is typically ordered for a set period of time. The goal of rehabilitative alimony is to help spouses gain the necessary training and education so that they may develop/enhance skills that will assist them in gaining employment after the divorce. In some cases, it is given to mothers with small children, allowing them to stay at home until the children are old enough to attend school. In order for a parent to continue to qualify for rehabilitative alimony, he/she must adhere to the policies set forth by both the judge and the retraining program. Failure to attend mandatory classes, for example, may be grounds for discontinuation.
Temporary alimony is usually ordered before a divorce is finalized. As the divorce proceedings continue go on, spouses may agree to payments until the final judgement of the divorce is provided. In most cases, the temporary alimony is paid to the spouse who makes an insufficient income. It is utilized to support him/her during the process, especially immediately following the petition for a divorce.
Modifiable / Non-Modifiable Criteria
There are specific terms and conditions that may qualify or disqualify individuals from modifying their alimony.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony is unmodifiable.
- Rehabilitative alimony may be modifiable if information is presented that shows that the recipient is not following the instructions or attending the reeducation/retraining programs. Courts may also consider changes in income.
- Durational alimony and permanent alimony are modifiable if there is a significant change in financial circumstances or an unforeseen event. In such cases, only the amount is likely to be changed (as opposed to the duration of payment).
- Both durational and permanent alimony can cease when the recipient remarries, or in some cases, if the recipient enters into a “supportive relationship” in which he/she lives with an unrelated individual.
To modify or terminate any type of alimony within the state of Florida, timely documentation and evidentiary support must be demonstrated to a court of law. Only a divorce lawyer with experience in negotiating alimony cases and support claims can be trusted to help you modify alimony. If you believe your situation qualifies for spousal support modification, contact divorce attorney Theodore H. Enfield.
Modification of Alimony
If a modification of alimony is necessary given the criteria mentioned above, individuals may file a motion with the appropriate court for review and consideration. Documentation must be presented to support the grounds/necessity for modification. Divorce lawyers in Boca Raton can help you locate and present such information to a court of law in a clear, concise and compelling manner.
Termination of Alimony
Termination of alimony is usually ordered if the recipient fails to meet the standards and guidelines of the court order, if the recipient remarries, or of the payor dies.
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Divorce Lawyers in Boca Raton, FL
At the Law Offices of Theodore H. Enfield, P.A., our divorce lawyers in Boca Raton have seen it all. We understand that alimony and spousal support issues can be vital to an individual’s well-being and survival after a divorce. We also understand that there are times when the amount of alimony must be modified to fit the needs of the family. Whatever your concerns regarding alimony may be, our Boca Raton divorce and family law firm can provide you with the guidance you need.
If you have questions regarding alimony and spousal support, contact divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Theodore Enfield in Boca Raton, FL for help.