Alimony, now usually termed spousal support, is an amount of money paid to a spouse by the other spouse during the process of obtaining and/or following a divorce. While the usual recipient is the wife, there are times when the husband will receive alimony. Determining factors for deciding who receives alimony, if indeed either party is eligible, are complicated and require a well-qualified and experienced family law attorney. As each state has different guidelines the attorney you choose needs to be licensed to practice in your state. Attorney Grant Gisondo, PA is licensed in Florida and practices in West Palm Beach, where his office is located, and in Martin, St. Lucie, Miami- Dade, Broward, Orange, and Hillsborough counties. He is well qualified to walk his clients through the maize of alimony considerations.
Florida Statute 61:08 states there are six types of alimony awarded, Temporary, Permanent, Durational, Bridge-The -Gap, Rehabilitative, and Lump Sum.
This type of alimony is awarded for only the time period during which the divorce case is being litigated. The money is used in a variety of ways to help with maintenance costs including, but not limited to, mortgage payments or rent, transportation needs, food, on-going medical expenses, and insurances. This type of alimony is usually awarded to a spouse who has been almost or totally dependent on the other spouse for their living expenses.
This type of alimony is awarded following the final judgment and has no time limit. It does, however, have certain stipulations including the fact the alimony will stop should the recipient remarry. Also, the recipient will, unless otherwise agreed upon by the couple, pay taxes on the amount of alimony received. Further, should there be children involved requiring child support (child support is mandatory in the state of Florida) it is important to know that any alimony to be received will be calculated as part of the income belonging to the recipient spouse and can thereby sometimes reduce the amount of adjudicated child support.
Another important consideration with permanent alimony is to decide whether you want the amount of your alimony to be able to be modified or not. If you choose modification then either party can, at a later date when circumstances change, return to court to change the dollar amount. This can be a positive or a negative depending on whether you need more or need to give less which is the positive, the negative being whether you receive less or need to give more. On the other hand, if you choose alimony, which cannot be modified, should circumstances change drastically such as severe illness or job loss, the amount of alimony cannot be changed.
The amount of time this type of alimony is awarded is determined by a judge or agreed upon by the couple themselves. Usually this type of alimony is used following short-term marriages and often the time awarded is equal to the number of years married.
Just as it says, this type of alimony is used to help a person cross over from being married to being single. It can include concerns as having to find a job or increase their present income, moving to another location not as desirable as say, the family’s longtime home, or even adjusting the standard of living and social life downward. This alimony is typically given for two years.
This type of monetary help is for the spouse needing to adjust to becoming financially independent. It can include needing more training or education to better their job income. In the case of a spouse who has never worked and has been totally dependent on their spouse, this can include identifying job skills and receiving training and/or education to become employable. Courses can even include learning how to job hunt, fill out a resume, and handle a job interview. For an older spouse learning to use a computer may be necessary. As a rehabilitation plan in place is always required for this type of alimony it is vitally important for your divorce attorney to know how to help you meet the state’s requirements. Attorney Gisondo can definitely guide you safely through this process.
This is a set amount of money to be awarded following the final decree. Older couples often use it where potential health issues and retirement may greatly reduce future income. Also it can be used as a bargaining tool for equitable distribution when, for example, one party is awarded the marital business and the other a lump sum alimony.
Depending on an individuals’ circumstances, the need for alimony and which type or types would be desirable will be the expertise of a well qualified Family Law Lawyer. This is a question Attorney Gisondo will be able to help his client determine. Each case has its own individual characteristics, however one thing is common to all: You must have documented proof and substantial evidence for all the needs you are claiming. Again, Attorney Gisondo will help you know just what is required and what type of documentation and evidence you will want to provide.
Each need of the spouse asking for alimony will be considered and depending on which type or types of alimony are requested, an appropriate amount will be suggested. Attorney Gisondo will work with you and be prepared to present your request at mediation or in court. In the state of Florida the length of a marriage will determine, to a great extent, the possible amount of an alimony request. The longer a marriage the more alimony is usually awarded. Marriages 0 to 7 years are considered short term, 7 to 17 years are considered moderate duration, and over 17 years are considered a longterm duration. Additionally, such issues as income, assets, and lifestyle during the marriage will factor in. A final note, someone must pay taxes on the money as it is considered income and this decision, by the couple or a judge, will be included in the final judgment. Attorney Gisondo will be able to advise you on alimony tax matters as well as all other matters pertaining to your divorce.