Divorce is difficult, often entailing more legal issues than divorcing spouses initially expect. Every married couple faces unique challenges in dissolution proceedings, and property division is typically a major point of contention. Florida state law requires divorcing spouses to split marital property using an equitable distribution standard. While this system aims for the fairest possible division of marital assets in a divorce, the financial differences between some divorcing spouses may necessitate ongoing spousal support arrangements.
Spousal support, also known as alimony, intends to provide a lower-earning spouse with the means to meet basic living needs and enjoy a standard of living similar to what they had while married. When one spouse is financially dependent on the other, or when one spouse will be unable to work and support themselves after divorce, alimony is likely to come into play in divorce proceedings. This can be a frustrating topic, and it’s vital to consult a St. Petersburg alimony attorney if you expect to face this issue in your upcoming divorce.
When you expect alimony to come up in your divorce proceedings, whether you anticipate paying it to your ex or receiving it from them, it’s vital to have an attorney who can ensure a fair and reasonable determination. Attorney Garth R. Goodman, PA, has extensive professional experience in St. Petersburg, FL, family law, assisting many clients with complex divorce cases that involve detailed financial matters. If you are preparing to end your marriage in St. Petersburg, it’s vital to consult an attorney as soon as possible about the contested elements of your divorce.
Hiring a lawyer may not be a strict legal requirement for divorce. Many people worry about the potential cost of legal fees when they already face an expensive divorce process that will shift their financial situation significantly in the foreseeable future. However, the right attorney can be a tremendously positive influence on your divorce case. When you choose an experienced St. Petersburg alimony attorney to represent you, your legal affairs will be in capable hands. In addition, you will have easy access to the support you need throughout the case.
Alimony determinations in Florida typically hinge on the differences in the respective financial situations of the divorcing spouses. However, other variables in the divorce also influence alimony determination, and it’s vital to have legal counsel capable of addressing all the issues your unique divorce case entails. Attorney Goodman takes a client-focused approach to divorce representation, taking time to learn as much as possible about every client, assessing their options for resolving dissolution, and helping them prepare for alimony determination.
Ultimately, your impending divorce will impact your life dramatically in several ways, and it’s natural to feel distressed and uncertain when it comes to assessing your legal options in this situation. Attorney Garth R. Goodman, PA, can provide the personalized legal counsel you need to approach your case with greater confidence. Attorney Goodman has years of experience handling divorce cases involving complex financial issues, and his team will leverage this experience on your behalf.
Florida’s divorce laws uphold a few important restrictions regarding alimony. First, alimony payments may not continue for longer than the amount of time the marriage lasted. For example, if a couple’s marriage lasted five years before they divorced, alimony may only continue for up to five years following the divorce. Durational alimony arrangements like this are the most common forms of alimony orders in Florida. However, the purpose of alimony is to account for the financial disparity between divorcing spouses. The amount paid cannot result in the paying spouse having less net income than the recipient each month, but some recipients may have a clear need for longer alimony arrangements.
Permanent alimony is possible when a couple divorces after a long marriage and/or when one of the spouses is entirely financially dependent on the other. This type of alimony arrangement will only end if one of the divorced spouses dies or the recipient remarries. In some divorce cases, judges award temporary alimony to financially dependent spouses, and these arrangements usually end upon the completion of the divorce. It’s also possible for alimony to specifically apply to helping the supported spouse transition to single life. For example, transitory rehabilitative alimony continues until the supporting spouse completes their education or job training to start their career.
Ending a marriage is difficult, and some couples must take their divorce cases before family court judges to resolve contested issues. Others choose to negotiate their divorce orders privately in alternative dispute resolutions, such as collaborative divorce or mediation. While some measure of litigation is typically necessary in every divorce, it’s possible to streamline divorce proceedings significantly through alternative dispute resolution.
When the family court settles an alimony dispute, the judge begins by determining whether the lower-earning spouse qualifies to receive support. Next, they must assess whether the higher-earning spouse can pay support. The judge takes the difference in income into account along with the results of the couple’s property division determination and other unique variables in play, such as the medical condition of each spouse. Couples with premarital contracts may already have legally binding terms for alimony included in these agreements. In these cases, the prenuptial contract acts as a blueprint for the couple’s divorce order, but the court must ensure the contract is legally enforceable.
Attorney Garth R. Goodman, PA, strives to help clients make informed decisions about their divorce proceedings. When it comes to alimony, your St. Petersburg alimony attorney will be a crucial asset in ensuring your alimony order is reasonable for all parties involved. Alimony determinations often require settling property division before examining each divorcing spouse’s respective financial situation, job prospects, and physical ability to work.
A St. Petersburg alimony lawyer is the best resource to consult when you need individualized legal counsel for your divorce and have concerns about a potential alimony order. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how the right attorney can help you resolve alimony in your divorce.
In a Florida Divorce proceeding, one’s entitlement to alimony is based on his/ her “need” and the other spouse’s “ability” to contribute to the support of the spouse in need. In order to determine a spouse’s need for alimony, Florida Divorce law requires that we consider income or earning potential…