The idea of one spouse paying another a certain amount of money to support them so that they could continue to live the same lifestyle post-divorce that they did while married is a concept that originated in England. Although the idea of alimony or spousal support was brought over by settlers centuries ago, it’s still something that’s alive and well here in the United States today.
Up until the 1970s, states like Florida required divorce petitioners to supply a reason for seeking to end their marriages. Morality would greatly impact how alimony awards were doled out back then.
Fast forward to today and not much has changed. States like Florida and at least 34 other states are “no fault” divorce ones now. This means that neither party generally has to give a reason for the demise of their marriage. There is only one exception to this rule. If an individual can prove that their spouse is either insane or mentally incompetent, then he or she can have a reason recorded as the reason for the divorce.
While you might would assume that not having to prove fault would have caused spousal support payments awards to decline, they haven’t had that type of impact. Moral factors are still one of the factors judges weigh when awarding alimony payments.
In fact, it’s because of this that many states, like Florida, have established formulas for determining support. Many legislators have expressed their hope that, by doing so, it will reduce the chance of a judge’s bias entering in to decision-making.
For decades, a spouse ordered to pay alimony has enjoyed the ability to take such payments as a deduction on his or her taxes. This is slated to change at the turn of the new year. Having a Fort Myers alimony attorney on your side to help you navigate the different types of spousal support options and alternatives may prove to be fruitful during these changing times.