While married, two partners generally pool their resources and provide support to each other in a variety of ways. Maybe both parents work and combine their income. Maybe one parent works while the other cares for their children. Regardless of the circumstances of your situation, you enjoy a certain quality of life while married – and that quality of life could change once you are no longer married.
Alimony is a way to ensure that individuals can maintain a quality of life after divorce similar to what they enjoyed during the marriage. For example, a stay-at-home parent may need financial support after divorce as they return to the workforce to support themselves. Whether you are hoping to receive alimony or avoid overpaying alimony, the Leesburg divorce attorney at the Law Office of Jody L. Fisher can help you achieve your goals.
Determining Alimony Payments
In Florida, alimony can be agreed upon by the spouses or determined by the court after it has distributed the couple’s assets. Whether a payment amount was calculated by the spouses themselves or by the court, it is the court that must provide the final stamp of approval to solidify the agreement.
If the court is tasked with calculating fair alimony payments, it will consider various factors such as:
- Each partner’s quality of life/standard of living before and during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- Each partner’s age
- The physical and mental condition of each spouse
- Each spouse’s current work and future income-earning capacity
- Each spouse’s education level
Once an alimony payment has been ordered, the payer is expected to make timely payments according to the court order. Any changes in alimony can only be made if a spouse legally requests the change and is granted court approval.
What Is Spousal Support? Is It Different from Alimony?
Each state has different rules governing alimony and spousal support and can even use different terminology when talking about these types of payments. In Florida, no legal difference exists between spousal support and alimony. The terms can be used interchangeably and both reference court-ordered financial support for an ex-spouse.
There are different types of alimony and, if you are thinking about asking for - or have been asked to pay - spousal support, you should consult with an attorney to discuss your legal rights and obligations under FL law.