Spousal Support Attorneys in Pensacola, FL
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a payment that the court orders one former spouse to pay to the other former spouse in a divorce. It is important to understand that spousal support is not awarded in every divorce, and that it can be required by either the ex-husband or the ex-wife. Below are other important facts to know about the different types of spousal support or alimony that may be granted in a Florida divorce, and how the law office of Spencer Law, P.A. can be of critical assistance in protecting your rights and interests in any alimony award.
Florida Alimony Factors
Alimony or spousal support is not automatically granted in a Florida divorce. Instead, one party in a divorce case must specifically ask the court to grant support, and the other party may object to this request, requiring the court to hold a hearing on the matter. In deciding whether to grant spousal support and how much to award, the court typically looks at factors like the following:
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- The financial resources of each party (the needs of the party seeking alimony and the ability of the other party to pay)
- The division of marital property between the spouses
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage in terms of finances and household support
- Whether one spouse helped pay for the other spouse’s education or career training
- The responsibilities each spouse will bear toward raising the children
At Spencer Law, we can help by making sure that all sources of income and other financial resources are fully and fairly disclosed. We will prepare and present a strong case that promotes your interests, whether you are seeking an award of support or challenging a proposed order.
Different Types of Alimony in Florida
If the judge does decide to make an award of spousal support, there are many different ways that the alimony can be ordered. Types of alimony in Florida include the following:
- Temporary (pendente lite) – The judge can require one party to pay support to the other party while the divorce is pending. Temporary alimony may be converted to a different form of alimony when the divorce is finalized, or it may end there.
- Bridge the Gap – The judge may order support for up to two years to help the non-earning or lower-earning spouse transition to new living arrangements, obtain a job, etc.
- Rehabilitative – If the lower earning spouse needs to acquire education or job skills training in order to become self-supporting, an award of rehabilitative alimony may be ordered to help the requesting spouse fulfill this plan.
- Durational – A durational support award can be made to help the requesting spouse meet his or her needs for a certain length of time. A durational support award can be ordered for any period up to the length of time that the marriage lasted.
- Permanent – If the judge believes that a permanent alimony award is the only fair and reasonable way to meet the needs of the requesting spouse, a permanent award may be made. Permanent support may be ordered where the requesting spouse is not able to become self-supporting. Typically, this kind of alimony would be granted after a long-term marriage, to enable the requesting spouse to continue to live according to the standard of living established during the marriage. Permanent alimony is usually granted if the marriage lasted at least 17 years and is rarely granted for marriages of less then seven years.
Get Help from a Knowledgeable and Experienced Florida Spousal Support Attorney
For help seeking or opposing spousal support, or dealing with other matters in your Florida divorce, contact Spencer Law, P.A. at our offices in Pensacola, Ft. Walton and Sandestin. We serve clients throughout the Emerald Coast from Pensacola to Panama City, and we look forward to the opportunity to help you with your Florida family law matter.