Alimony is a common source of dispute in a Florida divorce. This is true from the perspective of the former spouse who might be ordered to pay and the former spouse who will be receiving payments. There are different types of alimony under state law. In some instances, a person is asking for permanent alimony. This can be a contentious issue for both sides and it is important to understand how the determination is made. Whether it is the person who wants alimony permanently or the person who is questioning its necessity, having legal assistance to address the case may be imperative.
Understanding permanent alimony
Permanent alimony will be ordered to provide for a person who is unable to meet their own needs as they were established during the marriage. The circumstances will dictate the awarding of permanent alimony. The court will consider the standard of living the couple had during the marriage; how long the marriage lasted; the age and condition of the parties; what the financial resources are; the earning capacities, their education, skills and type of employment they can get; how each contributed to the marriage including rearing children and helping the other with advancement; if there are minor children; income available; and how taxes will impact them.
There might be a perception that only marriages that lasted for a long time will warrant permanent alimony, but that is not accurate. Any marriage – long, moderate or short – could result in permanent alimony after the above-listed factors are considered. Fairness is a fundamental part of the determination. If the court decides there is no other avenue to achieve a fair and reasonable outcome, then there can be an order of permanent alimony. A change in circumstances can justify the award being changed. An example of such a change might be the receiving party cohabitating with another person and receiving support. If the receiving former spouse remarries, alimony will end.
Alimony can be complex and it might be wise to have legal help
Regardless of the relationship between the spouses as they move forward with a divorce, it is wise to understand the details of alimony and how long it will last. Even if the sides are on relatively good terms, alimony could be a source of disagreement. If they are acrimonious, it is likely to be a challenge. For help with a case and to understand all the factors that are assessed when determining alimony and its duration, consulting with a firm that is experienced with all aspects of family law may be a crucial step toward a positive outcome.