There are many complex aspects of a divorce proceeding, even when the parties are generally in agreement about how their assets and property should be divided. Some of the most common questions that we receive as divorce lawyers concern alimony, including how the amount is calculated, when the court will award payments, and how long the payments will continue. Having assisted many people with navigating the legal system, the Fort Myers and Cape Coral alimony lawyers at the Martin Law Firm understand how complicated a divorce proceeding can be. We will ensure that you understand the full scope of your rights at every juncture and assist you with securing a workable outcome.The Legal Process Surrounding Alimony Payments in Florida
Also known as maintenance, alimony is not intended to punish the paying spouse. Instead, alimony payments are usually awarded to recognize that the paying spouse may possess additional skills, resources, and abilities that enable them to support themselves independently after the marriage is ended. The payment is designed to assist the receiving spouse with achieving a similar level of security moving forward. Alimony payments can be doled out on a monthly basis or received in a lump sum payment. In some cases, the court may award a combination of the two.
There are a variety of factors that the court may consider when deciding whether to award alimony. First, the length of the marriage is important in determining payments. Short-term marriages are those that lasted fewer than seven years, and long-term marriages are those that lasted 17 years or longer. Moderate-term marriages fall between those lengths.
There are several different categories of alimony payments recognized in Florida. An alimony attorney in Cape Coral or Fort Myers can advise you on what may be appropriate for your situation. In some instances, the court may award what is known as “bridge the gap” alimony. In this situation, one spouse is required to make alimony payments to the other spouse for a limited period while the receiving spouse works on achieving financial independence and stability. Another type of alimony is temporary alimony, which is a short-term payment obligation that typically concludes when the divorce is finalized. It can then be replaced with another form of alimony. Also, Florida courts can award rehabilitative alimony, which is intended to assist the receiving spouse with acquiring a degree or vocational skills to help them with achieving financial independence. In this instance, the court must provide a specific course of action in the order, describing the career that the recipient intends to pursue and the steps that they will take to further it.
Meanwhile, durational alimony is a term used to describe alimony awards in short-term or moderate-term marriages. When other types of alimony do not fit the situation, this type of alimony can be used to help the spouses recalibrate financially in their new and separate lives. The alimony payments cannot exceed the length of the marriage, and either spouse can request a modification of the alimony payments in the event that they experience a change in circumstances. Finally, permanent alimony is an award granted usually in moderate-term or long-term marriages. It is available when the receiving spouse lacks the capacity to achieve the same financial standard to which they were accustomed during the marriage and requires the payment on a permanent basis. The court has broad discretion in deciding whether to award permanent alimony and will consider the standard of living to which the couple became accustomed during the marriage.Consult a Trustworthy Alimony Lawyer in Cape Coral or Fort Myers
If you are considering a divorce proceeding or are involved in a divorce proceeding, you do not need to navigate the legal complexities alone. Even if your spouse and you agree on most aspects of the separation, retaining an experienced family law attorney can help you ensure that the matter is handled in a timely, appropriate, and careful legal fashion. Protect your legal rights and take the guesswork out of this stressful but critical time in your life. Our Fort Myers and Cape Coral alimony attorneys are a husband and wife team who understand the complexities of marriage. We can also assist with a wide variety of other divorce-related issues, including child custody arrangements. Serving residents of Naples, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Tampa, Miami, and other South Florida cities, we offer a free consultation, so call us now at (844) 465-4357 or contact us online.