In many households, one spouse may earn a substantial portion of the couple’s income while the other spouse may contribute to the marriage in other ways. When a marriage in which the parties earn disparate wages end, the lesser earning spouse may face significant financial difficulties. Thus, the law allows courts to order people to provide financial support or alimony to their former spouses. If your marriage is ending in divorce, it could have a dramatic impact on your finances. You should speak to the Cape Coral spousal support lawyers of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. who are skilled at helping people navigate the legal complexities at the end their marriage. We will fight to help you protect your rights and regularly represent people in family law cases in Cape Coral and other cities throughout Florida.Alimony Under Florida Law
In Florida, the financial support one spouse pays to another following a divorce is referred to as alimony. Four types of alimony are available under Florida law: rehabilitative, bridge-the-gap, durational, and permanent.
Rehabilitative alimony, as the name suggests, may be granted to help a person gain the capacity for self-support by acquiring education, work experience, or training, or re-developing prior credentials or skills. If a court grants rehabilitative alimony, the order will include a defined and specific rehabilitation plan. It can be modified or terminated if the plan is completed, the party receiving alimony refuses to comply with the plan, or a significant change in circumstances takes place. Contact our spousal support attorneys in Cape Coral if you are seeking rehabilitative alimony or would like to modify the terms of an existing order.
Bridge-the-gap alimony may be granted to help one spouse switch from being married to living as a single person. It is designed to help with specific short-term needs and cannot last longer than two years. It cannot be modified but will end if either party dies or the person receiving alimony remarries.
A court may award durational alimony in cases where permanent alimony is not appropriate. The aim of durational alimony is to grant a person financial aid for a set period following the marriage. The amount awarded may be terminated or modified if a substantial change in either party’s situation occurs, but the length of the award can only be modified in exceptional circumstances. Durational alimony cannot endure for longer than the marriage lasted.
Lastly, courts may award permanent alimony to provide for the life necessities established during the marriage to parties who cannot meet their own needs financially. Our Cape Coral spousal support attorneys can help you understand the different types of alimony available and advocate for your best interests. Permanent alimony is more likely to be granted in cases involving long-term marriages, which are defined in marriages lasting 17 years or more. Clear and convincing evidence must be produced to demonstrate permanent alimony is warranted in cases involving a moderate-term marriage, which is 7-17 years. Lastly, it may only be granted in short-term marriages, which are those lasting less than seven years, under exceptional circumstances.Factors Weighed in Evaluating Whether to Grant Alimony
Florida courts will assess several elements in evaluating whether to grant alimony and, if so, which type of alimony is appropriate. A primary factor they will weigh is each spouse’s economic resources and earning potential, as well as the standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage. They will also examine the length of the marriage along with the physical and emotional health and age of each spouse. Additionally, the court will weigh the non-economic contributions each party provided to the marriage, like caring for children, maintaining a household, and helping the other spouse further his or her career.Meet with a Trusted Cape Coral Attorney
The end of a marriage may present both emotional and economic challenges. If you or your spouse are contemplating filing for divorce, it is important to speak with our trusted spousal support lawyers in Cape Coral. We can help you understand how the decision may affect you financially. We possess the skills and resources needed to help you seek a fair and efficient resolution, and we will work tirelessly on your behalf. We frequently assist people in family law matters in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, and Naples. You can reach us via our online form or at 800-283-7442 to schedule a conference at our offices.