Our Ocala Lawyer Protects Your Best Interests In Alimony Cases
When considering divorce, you will understandably have many concerns. You may wonder how alimony might affect your ability to support yourself and maintain the lifestyle you desire. These needs make spousal support logical priorities for your family law attorney.
Your Concerns Are Our Concerns
At the Ocala area family law firm of Ami L. DiLorenzo, P.A., we provide our clients with honest and aggressive legal representation. For 20 years, Ami L. DiLorenzo has worked to protect the spousal support interests of our clients.
Our clients come to us for help with situations such as:
- Paying too much
- The loss of your job necessitating an alimony modification
- Not receiving enough spousal support
- Termination due to a supportive relationship
There are three different classifications of marriage, which will factor in how much a party can receive and for how long. A long-term marriage (17 years or more) may entitle one party to permanent benefits. A moderate-term marriage, which lasts 8-16 years, may entitle a party to earn financial assistance for a length of time often proportional to the length of the marriage.
Seven years or fewer of marriage is considered a short-term marriage and may mean that a party is awarded “bridge-the-gap” alimony to help them adjust to single life. Another option is rehabilitative alimony, which is used to support someone while they learn marketable skills so they can find reasonable employment.
Need And Ability To Pay
Florida Statute § 61.08 sets forth the factors considered when awarding alimony, also known as spousal support, in a dissolution of marriage proceeding. In determining whether to award alimony or spousal maintenance, the court must determine whether a party has an actual need for alimony and whether the other party has the ability to pay alimony.
Factors In Awarding Alimony
If the court determines that there is a need for alimony and an ability to pay, it will consider several factors in determining the proper amount and type, such as:
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living within the marriage
- The age of each spouse
- The emotional and physical conditions of each spouse
- The earning capacity of each spouse
- The contribution of each spouse toward the family
- And more
Types Of Alimony
Florida has several types of alimony that may be awarded, including:
- Temporary alimony: This type of alimony, also referred to as alimony pendente lite, is awarded during the pendency of the proceeding. Once a dissolution proceeding has been filed, the party in need of temporary support may file a motion for temporary relief asking the court to award alimony on a temporary basis.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony: This kind of alimony is granted to aid a party through the transition of married to single life. Alimony duration does not exceed two years and is terminated in the event of remarriage or death of the receiving party. Bridge-the-gap alimony is non-modifiable.
- Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony may be awarded to assist a party in establishing the capacity for self-support through either the redevelopment of previous skills or credentials, or the acquisition of education, training, or work experience necessary to develop appropriate employment skills or credentials.
- Durational alimony: This type of alimony has a set duration that cannot exceed the length of the marriage. It can be modified or terminated based on an extraordinary change in circumstances.
- Permanent alimony: This type of alimony is awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet their needs and necessities of life. In awarding this type of alimony, the court must find that no other type of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances of the parties and terminates upon the death or remarriage of the party receiving the alimony. It may be terminated or modified based on a substantial change in circumstances or upon the existence of a supportive relationship by the party receiving the alimony.
Length Of The Marriage
When determining which type of alimony to award, the court must also take into consideration the length of the marriage. The length of a marriage is the period of time from the date of marriage until the date of filing an action for dissolution of marriage.
There are three types of marriage lengths in Florida. A short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than seven years, a moderate-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of greater than seven years but less than 17 years and a long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater.
When a marriage is determined to be of a short duration, a spouse in need of alimony is eligible for all forms of alimony, although an award of permanent alimony must be accompanied by “written findings of exceptional circumstances.”
When a marriage is determined to be a moderate-term marriage, a spouse in need is eligible for all forms of alimony, but permanent alimony may only be awarded upon a showing of “clear and convincing evidence.”
When a marriage is determined to be a long-term marriage, a spouse in need is eligible for all forms of alimony, including permanent alimony. However, durational alimony may only be awarded if the trial court determines that permanent alimony is inappropriate.
An Advocate You Can Trust
Spousal support and alimony are negotiated between your attorney and counsel for your former spouse; or, if an agreement cannot be reached, a judge will determine the amount and duration. If obligations are not met, the payer can be subject to a contempt order or enforcement action from a judge.
Our attorney, Ami L. DiLorenzo, is well-versed in all of the Florida spousal support guidelines. In spousal support negotiations, she will make sure that your rights are protected. She knows what your needs and interests are, and will make sure that the other side knows them too.
Consultations, 24/7 Availability
Spousal support is an extremely important financial obligation. We can begin discussions of these matters at your earliest convenience.
We encourage an atmosphere of candor and confidentiality. Your consultation is your opportunity to tell us how we can help you. Call our Ocala law office today at 352-580-1141 or by sending us an email.