Under Florida divorce law, spousal support may be awarded under certain situations to either of the spouses. Spousal support is also known as alimony and is additional money, not part of a division of marital property or child support, that one spouse pays to the other for financial support during or after the divorce proceedings. Whether or not this type of support will be included as part of the final divorce settlement is usually a highly controversial and contested subject.
Spousal support is not meant to be punitive. It is intended to help the lower earner get “back on their feet” or maintain the marital lifestyle for at least some period of time following the end of a marriage. Although often thought of as paid on an ongoing basis, support may be awarded as a lump sum instead, or as some combination of the two. Spousal support is never a cut and dry issue and is based on statutory factors rather than a purely mathematical equation.
When making a determination of whether to award support, the court may consider a number of factors including non-monetary issues. No matter what side you are on, whether it is a possibility of paying or receiving, if you are going through a divorce and spousal support may become an issue, Glenn & Phanco, P.A. attorneys in Wesley Chapel, FL, should be your first call. We will counsel you about your rights and responsibilities under Florida law to ensure that you are well-represented and your interests are protected.
Types of Spousal Support
There are five types of spousal support as designated by Florida law:
- Temporary support is awarded during the divorce proceeding and terminates upon a formal divorce decree. It may or may not be replaced by another type of award.
- Bridge-the-gap support is a short-term transitional award to pay foreseeable and identifiable bills associated with re-starting a life without a spouse.
- Rehabilitative support is granted for a spouse to pursue educational programs or training to obtain employment that leads to self-sufficiency
- Durational support is a set amount over a pre-determined period of time.
- Permanent support is awarded after a moderate length or long-term marriage to a spouse that is unable to be self-sufficient.
If there is a significant change in circumstances, certain spousal support awards may be modified at a later date. The laws and precedents on spousal support and modification are constantly changing and are complicated to navigate, especially on your own. Having representation by Wesley Chapel family law lawyers will help ensure your rights are at the forefront.
Determination of Support
The court will consider the facts of the case to determine whether the spouse requesting support meets the standard to show necessity. If need is established, the court must determinate if the other spouse has the ability to pay.
Some factors that may be considered:
• Financial contributions each spouse made to the marriage
• Economic position of each spouse
• Assumption of any debt incurred during the marriage
If the financial situations warrant spousal support, the courts will consider other factors in determining the amount such as:
• Each spouse’s marriage contributions including homemaking, child care, and support of the other spouse in obtaining education or building a business or career
• Ages of spouses
• Length of marriage
• Standard of living during the marriage
• Physical and emotional impairments that create additional economic need or hinder earning capacity
• Whether a spouse requires additional education or career training in order to obtain self-supporting employment
There may be extenuating circumstances that are unique to your situation. That is why it is imperative that you retain an attorney. Otherwise, you may end up making unnecessary financial commitments, losing financial benefits, and jeopardizing your future well-being and stability.
Representation You Deserve
Seek the counsel of spousal support attorneys in Wesley Chapel, FL for your divorce, The law firm, Glenn & Phanco, P.A, has years of experience representing both women and men who are either seeking support or opposing unreasonable support requests. You will want to fully understand the opportunities and requirements involved. For discussing all aspects and your legal options, contact the Wesley Chapel family law attorneys of Glenn & Phanco, P.A. today!