When someone is considering leaving their spouse, or has discovered that their spouse might be seeking a divorce, one of the primary concerns that arises is how they are going to support themselves now that their spouse’s income is out of the picture.
To answer these concerns, the State of Florida has established an elaborate structure for awarding alimony to spouses, who at the conclusion of their marriage, are unable to provide for themselves as they did when they were married. In the simplest of terms, to receive an alimony award, the court must decide that you are both in need of support, and that your spouse has to ability to provide such support. Some questions that you should consider when asking the court for alimony is why you need such support, how much do you need, and for how long you will need that support from your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
To date, Florida provides 4 different types of alimony awards: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent. Each type of alimony is awarded for a specific purpose, all of which are geared towards helping spouses in need reach a better financial position without their partner.
In determining the amount and duration of any alimony award, a court considers a large variety of factors including: duration of the marriage, each party’s income, the standard of living during the marriage, contributions to the marriage, etc. Each type of alimony has a varying duration, and some are limited to a specific number of years. Most popularly, permanent alimony is provided for an indefinite period. However, there are events that can lead to a court terminating this kind of alimony award, and it is important that you discuss these various events with an attorney if you choose to pursue permanent alimony in your divorce action.
If you are a spouse who has regularly relied on your partner’s income to live, and have no idea how you could support yourself now that your partner has left you, you might conclude that an alimony award at the conclusion of your divorce action might be too far away. You might be struggling to make ends meet, and incredibly stressed and overwhelmed over how you are going to support yourself, or pay any attorney fees as you wait for the court to hear your case.
What many people may not be aware of is that they may be entitled to spousal support during the time that the court is handling their case. The Florida legislature has provided that while a divorce action is being processed by the court, an award spousal support can be issued by the court. This form of support is called temporary alimony and will be awarded alimony based on a similar standard for that of regular post-dissolution alimony.
With a grant of temporary alimony, you can ensure that you can be financially secure, without any interference from or reliance on your spouse, during what many have find to be one of the most difficult times of their lives. At Puzo Hernandez Law, we employ the best practices to determine the kind of support needed by our clients, and pursue the form of support that will best meet their needs, both during the course of litigation and after the divorce.