Florida Court Discusses Permanent Alimony

For many couples, one spouse is the main earner, while the other mostly looks after the home. When such relationships fail, the courts may decide that the spouse with less means should get alimony. In calculating adequate alimony, the courts will consider a number of variables, including the length of the marriage. While lifelong alimony may be suitable in some scenarios, it is rarely appropriate in short-term marriages. This was established in a recent Florida case where an appellate court overturned a trial court judgment providing permanent alimony to a party because the trial court misapplied the applicable criteria. If you or your spouse want to end your marriage, it’s a good idea to talk to a Florida divorce lawyer about how to preserve your finances.

The Case’s Background

Per the opinion, wife one and wife two were married for three years before separating, according to reports. They lived together for twenty-four years before marrying. Wife two had health problems four years before they planned to marry. Wife one told her that she could stop working and that she would financially support both of them. As a result, when the divorce was finalized, wife two requested alimony. In the end, the trial court awarded wife two perpetual alimony. Wife one filed an appeal, claiming that the court erred in considering the length of the couple’s connection previous to marriage when determining the award.

Florida Laws Regarding Alimony

An alimony award will be upheld by an appellate court if it is supported by adequate evidence. Permanent alimony may be awarded only if the court produces written findings that extraordinary circumstances exist following a short-term marriage, defined as one that lasts less than seven years. Furthermore, if a court awards permanent alimony to a party after a short-term marriage, the ruling must state that no other kind of alimony is reasonable and equitable in the circumstances.

Finally, if a court determines that perpetual alimony is the only viable choice, it must include sufficient findings in the order justifying its judgment. Permanent alimony is usually given after a short-term marriage if the asking spouse can show that he or she is unable to support themselves due to a mental or physical handicap. Under Florida law, palimony is not recognized, and cohabitation does not provide any rights. Using the factors outlined above, the court determined that the trial court’s award of permanent alimony was erroneous. As a result, the court reversed the order and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Speak with a Reputable Florida Family Lawyer

While alimony may be appropriate in some circumstances, permanent alimony is uncommon. If you are considering divorce or have been served with court documents initiating a divorce case, you should see an attorney to determine whether you or your spouse may be entitled to alimony. The capable Florida lawyers of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. are adept at navigating the legal and emotional complexities of divorce matters, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf.  You can reach us voa our form online or by calling 800-283-7442 to set up a confidential meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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