Alimony and Spousal Support Lawyers in Gainesville, FL

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Alimony/Spousal Support

 

Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is money paid to a former spouse for financial assistance following a divorce. The court may award alimony to be paid to one spouse in its final judgment of dissolution of marriage, and it may also award temporary alimony to be paid during the divorce proceeding. In addition to temporary alimony, there are four types:

  1. Bridge-the-gap alimony

    A type of alimony award in divorce actions intended to assist one spouse in making the transition from married to single life by receiving support payments from the other spouse. It is designed to meet short-term needs. The duration of the award does not exceed two years. Bridge the gap alimony is not modifiable, and the award terminates upon the death of either party or remarriage of the party receiving alimony. [Florida Statute Section 61.08(5)].

  2. Rehabilitative alimony

    A type of alimony awarded in divorce actions intended to assist one spouse with establishing his or her ability to support himself or herself after the divorce. This may include renewing previous credentials or licenses and redeveloping previous skills, or obtaining education, training, and experience needed to secure employment. A rehabilitative plan is required and is made part of any order which awards rehabilitative alimony. This type of alimony is modifiable and terminates upon completion of the rehabilitative plan, noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan, or a substantial change in circumstances as set forth in Florida Statute Section 61.14. However, the remarriage of the party receiving alimony does not necessarily terminate the award, unlike some other types of alimony. [Florida Statute Section 61,08(6)].

  3. Durational alimony

    A type of alimony awarded in divorce actions intended to “provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage.” It is awarded following long-term marriages (17 years or longer), and following moderate-term marriages (longer than 7 years, but shorter than 17 years) if the court finds that there is clear and convincing evidence that permanent alimony is appropriate. Durational alimony terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving alimony, and it is modifiable if there is a substantial change in circumstances or if it is determined that the party receiving alimony is in a “supportive relationship”. [Florida Statute Section 61.08(8)].

  4. Permanent alimony

    A type of alimony awarded in divorce actions intended to “provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life following a dissolution of marriage.” It is awarded following long-term marriages (17 years or longer), and following moderate-term marriages (longer than 7 years, but shorter than 17 years) if the court finds that there is clear and convincing evidence that permanent alimony is appropriate. This type of alimony terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving alimony, and it is modifiable if there is a substantial change in circumstances or if it is determined that the party receiving alimony is in a “supportive relationship”. [Florida Statute Section 61.08(8)].

The court may award any of these types of alimony to be paid, or a combination of any of these forms of alimony. The court may award such alimony to be paid periodically, in lump sum, or both.

Florida Statute Section 61.08 sets forth the factors the court must consider when determining whether or not to award alimony. The court must first determine if one spouse has a need for an award of alimony and if the other spouse has an ability to pay alimony. If the court finds that these conditions have been met, it must then determine which type of alimony to award and the appropriate amount. To do so, the court considers factors such as:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage

  • The duration or length of the marriage

  • The financial resources of each party

  • The earning capabilities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of each party

  • The contribution of each party to the marriage

At The Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates, we recognize that each case is unique and that each client has different needs and concerns. If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you are already going through a divorce proceeding, our attorneys can help ensure that your position and goals under Florida law are expressed in an effective way in negotiations for settlement or if need be, before our Court for final determination. Our divorce lawyers can help you to understand the process of determining the role alimony questions interact with other issues such as equitable distribution and child support. We can also help you if you are already divorced, and need to seek a modification of your prior alimony ruling.

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The Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates provides legal advice and representation for individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners in Gainesville, Florida, and communities throughout north central Florida, including cities such as Ocala, Starke, Palatka, Lake City, Middleburg, Trenton, Bronson, Lake Butler, Cross City, Williston, Chiefland, Alachua, Jasper, Live Oak, and Jacksonville, Florida.

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