The process of a divorce can be emotionally challenging and time-consuming, including determinations related to alimony. If you are going through a divorce and need to resolve the issue of alimony (or spousal support) in your case, you should take the time to consult a skilled Fort Lauderdale alimony lawyer. At the Law Offices of Carmen G. Soto, we understand that alimony can be a contentious matter, but we will try to help you reach a solution that protects your interests. Our staff speaks Spanish, and our lead attorney has more than 16 years of experience serving people throughout Broward County.Understanding Alimony Determinations in Florida
Alimony, sometimes known as spousal support, is the financial assistance provided by one spouse to the other during and after a divorce. It consists of money paid by the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse for a certain amount of time so that the lower-earning spouse can maintain the lifestyle to which he or she was accustomed during the marriage. There are five types of alimony that may be available in a Florida divorce:
- Lump-sum alimony: Lump-sum alimony is awarded in certain distinctive circumstances, such as if one spouse is in poor health.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony: This type of alimony is awarded for a specific, short duration to help the spouse transition from married life to single life. Bridge-the-gap alimony is non-modifiable and may not exceed two years.
- Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony is awarded to a spouse for a specific time frame so that he or she can become self-sufficient (i.e., return to school and increase his or her earning potential).
- Durational alimony: Durational alimony is paid for some period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration. This type of alimony may be awarded up to a period of time equal to that of the length of the marriage but not longer than that.
- Permanent alimony: This type of alimony is for support until the remarriage of the payee spouse, the payee spouse in a supportive relationship or the death of either party. Permanent alimony can be modified if there is a substantial change of circumstances.
As an alimony attorney in Fort Lauderdale can explain, one of the most important factors in determining alimony is how long you were married. The longer that a couple has been married, the more likely it is that one spouse will receive alimony. The Florida Statutes define short-term marriages as those lasting less than seven years, moderate-term marriages as those lasting between seven and 17 years, and long-term marriages as those lasting 17 years or longer. The length of the marriage is calculated from the date of the marriage to the date that the divorce petition is filed.
Durational alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony, and rehabilitative alimony may be available in short-term marriages. Permanent alimony is not usually available in short-term marriages. Durational alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony, and rehabilitative alimony may be available in moderate-term marriages. Just as in short-term marriages, permanent alimony is not usually available in moderate-term marriages. When it comes to long-term marriages, the following types of alimony may be available: durational, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, and permanent.
It is important to note that there is no mathematical formula when it comes to determining alimony, as there is for child support. The court has broad discretion to decide a spouse’s entitlement to alimony, the amount of alimony, the duration of alimony, and the type of alimony. There are, however, certain guidelines that the court must examine when deciding the issue of alimony.Contact a Knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale Alimony Attorney
When a married couple decides to end their marriage, alimony is an extremely important issue that may have a significant impact on both of their futures. Whether you are responsible for paying alimony or you are the person receiving it, Carmen G. Soto can protect your rights. We offer flexible payment plans tailored to each client's financial situation. In addition, we are located close to the Broward County courthouse, so we are able to save our clients travel costs as well as parking fees. Our firm represents people who need an alimony lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Davie, Plantation, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Weston, Tamarac, Margate, Hallandale Beach, Lauderdale Lakes, and other cities in Broward County. To discuss a legal matter related to alimony or any other aspect of a divorce, such as the equitable distribution of your property, call us at 954-523-0703 or contact us online.