As a couple in Florida deals with the dissolution of a marriage, the issue of alimony may be considered to mitigate economic conditions deemed to be unfair to one of the parties. Common situations include stay-at-home parents who have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time. Alimony may be helpful for enabling that individual to seek education and other training for reentering the workforce. However, alternatives to alimony might be considered in certain situations.
In some Florida divorce cases, alimony may be ordered in order to provide financial assistance to one spouse, either for a specified time period or on a permanent basis. In order to obtain alimony, the spouse who wants the court to issue an order for it must first request it from the court during the divorce.
When divorcing couples in Florida are unable to reach an agreement by themselves regarding pivotal matters such as alimony, the Circuit Court may intervene. Judges may determine the specifics of an order for spousal support on a case-by-case basis and typically do so after taking several factors into consideration.
Alimony, which is also known as spousal support, is often a point of contention during divorce proceedings. Disputes regarding the obligations might include the length of time that the payouts must be made and the size the transfers. Spouses who are filing for divorce in Florida have several different options when considering alimony agreements.
Alimony is defined as a periodic or lump sum payment made from one party in a divorce to the other party. This alimony may be be granted by the court for one of several reasons including rehabilitative, bridge-the-gap, durational, permanent, or any combination of these reasons. Whether or not alimony is awarded is determined by the court's consideration of adultery or other circumstances such as the standard of living, marriage duration, age of parties, income and financial resources of each party, earning capacities, financial and non-financial contributions, and responsibilities to minor children in common.
Last year, Gov. Rick Scott's veto ended the legislative effort made by supporters of alimony reform in Florida. A new documentary film is putting the spotlight back on the issue, as reform supporters prepare for a new legislative push.
In May, we discussed Florida Gov. Rick Scott's veto of a bill that would have ended permanent alimony. It has now been reported that another version of the controversial legislation is expected to resurface next year.
Gov. Rick Scott recently made a line-item veto in the new state budget that cuts funding to the state’s Displaced Homemakers Program, according to a recent report in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. The Displaced Homemakers Program provides divorced, abused and widowed women access to various training and education opportunities.
Should a man be entitled to spousal support if his former spouse earned more than he did? While Florida law does not prevent men from seeking and receiving alimony, historically, most alimony awards across the nation have gone to women. However, the 1950s are long gone, and men are no longer necessarily primary earners who are married to women that do not work outside the home.
Here in Florida, we are accustomed to seeing older couples migrating to the state to spend their retirement years basking in the warm and sunny climate. However, a recent survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers suggests that a growing number of these older people may be setting up shop in our state all by themselves.