Married couples must support each other financially. If the couple gets divorced and one party needs financial help to maintain a reasonable lifestyle, a Judge might order the other party to continue to provide support.

The obligation to support a spouse after the end of a marriage is known as alimony or spousal maintenance. If maintenance might be an issue in your divorce, contact a South Miami alimony lawyer. A skilled family law attorney can present a persuasive case for or against maintenance and ensure the amount awarded is appropriate.

Spouse Must Prove They Need Alimony

Judges do not award maintenance (alimony) automatically. If a spouse wants maintenance, they must ask for it in their divorce pleadings. Gender does not impact alimony; the spouse with more resources pays maintenance to the less wealthy spouse.

Spouses often ask for temporary alimony while divorce is pending. If the spouse wants maintenance to continue after the divorce is final, they must specifically ask for post-dissolution alimony. A South Miami attorney can confirm the pleadings address temporary and post-dissolution alimony when appropriate.

The law intends that each spouse maintain a lifestyle after marriage similar to their standard of living during the marriage. The spouse seeking alimony must prove that they do not have the resources to achieve a reasonable standard of living. They also must demonstrate that their spouse can afford to support themself while paying maintenance.

Factors to Consider When Determining Alimony

Demonstrating one spouse’s needs and the other’s ability to pay are the first steps in determining whether spousal maintenance is appropriate. However, courts consider additional factors, such as the duration of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the more likely a dependent spouse will receive alimony and the more generous the payment will likely be.

The receiving spouse’s circumstances are also important. The Judge may order more generous maintenance if the spouse has young children at home and cannot work full-time. Similarly, an alimony award might be more generous, and for a longer duration, if the receiving spouse’s mental or physical health impairs their ability to earn a living.

The spouse seeking alimony must persuade the Judge that their circumstances merit it. A spousal maintenance attorney in South Miami can represent either spouse and ensure the Judge hears persuasive arguments for their case.

Several Forms of Alimony

Judges expect a dependent spouse to eventually become self-supporting. The law presumes that alimony will extend for a specific time and it always ends when a receiving spouse remarries. Florida Statute § 61.08 allows for various forms of post-divorce alimony, depending on the situation.

“Bridge the gap” alimony can last up to two years and is not modifiable. In contrast, rehabilitative alimony supports the spouse while they make a plan to obtain marketable skills and can be modified or extended if necessary.

When a couple was married for less than 17 years, and the receiving spouse can regain their capacity to support themselves, the court might award durational alimony. A spouse cannot receive durational alimony for longer than the length of the marriage. Permanent alimony is rare; but when a couple was married for many years, and a dependent spouse is too old or infirm to earn a living, a Judge might award permanent alimony.

Discuss Spousal Payments with a South Miami Alimony Attorney Today

Post-divorce alimony is not automatic. Whether a Judge awards it or not depends on one spouse’s need and the other’s ability to pay.

Whether you want maintenance or want to avoid paying it, a South Miami alimony lawyer can present a persuasive case. The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm can learn more about your case during a free consultation, so contact our team today.