Miami Alimony Lawyers Protect Your Financial Rights
Knowledgeable and determined counsel focused on fair outcomes
If you are going through a divorce, you should have your eyes fixed hopefully on the future. But it’s hard to be hopeful when your future financial situation is unclear. Whether you are asking to receive alimony or suspect you’ll be required to pay it, the outcome of this particular issue will have a profound effect on your future. At Rafool, LLC, in Miami, our divorce lawyers are determined to seek the fairest outcome possible in alimony disputes. We draw on our extensive experience and knowledge of the law to build a compelling case for your financial rights. Often, we are able to negotiate a mutually beneficial settlement that avoids the expense of a court battle and the risks of an adverse judgment. But, when we must take your case to court, we raise all the pertinent facts necessary to direct the court toward a favorable result.
Types of alimony available in Florida
The purpose of alimony, as well as the equitable division of your marital property, is to ensure that a divorce does not unjustly enrich one spouse while imposing undue financial hardship on the other. To prevent that kind of injustice, the court can order a high-earning spouse to support a dependent spouse. The amount of support and the duration of the order depend on various circumstances. Because circumstances vary, Florida law allows a court to consider different types of alimony:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony — This type of support assists a party who is attempting to transition from marriage to single life. A spouse with legitimate, identifiable short-term needs can receive support for up to two years. Bridge-the-gap alimony terminates if either spouse dies, and the court may not modify such an order later.
- Rehabilitative alimony — This award assists a party who must redevelop or acquire job skills to become self-supporting. The party who requests this kind of alimony must have a specific rehabilitative plan worked out. A court can modify this award or terminate it if there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan or completion of it.
- Durational alimony — Such support is appropriate when a party requires economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short (less than seven years) or moderate (greater than seven years but less than 17 years) duration. A court can also award this support following a marriage of long duration (17 years or longer) if permanent alimony is not necessary. This award terminates if either party dies or the recipient remarries. The court may modify the amount if there is a substantial change in circumstances but can only change the length of the award under exceptional circumstances. The duration of the award may not exceed the length of the marriage.
- Permanent alimony — Also known as lifetime alimony, this type of support is reserved for marriages of long duration and circumstances in which a party lacks the financial ability to meet the needs and necessities of life. An award of permanent alimony terminates when either party dies or when the recipient remarries. A court may modify or terminate the award if a substantial change in circumstances occurs, including the recipient entering into a relationship that provides financial support.
To protect an award of alimony, the court may order the payor to purchase or maintain a life insurance policy or a bond. Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, such as the recipient being in extremely poor health, an alimony award may not leave the payor with significantly less net income than the recipient.
Factors for calculating Florida spousal support
Florida family law requires the court to consider numerous factors when deciding whether to award alimony, what type of alimony to award, the amount of the award and the duration of the award. Key factors include:
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party
- The financial resources of each party
- Each party’s earning capacity, educational level, vocational skill and employability
- The time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to find appropriate employment
- Each party’s contribution to the marriage, including such services as homemaking, child care, education and help with the career-building of the other party
- Each party’s responsibilities to any minor children they have in common
- Tax consequences of any alimony award
- All available sources of income
The court may also consider any other factor it deems necessary to do justice in the case. As your Miami advocates, we present detailed evidence related to these factors so the court has a reasoned basis for a decision in your favor.
Alimony payment modifications in Florida
As noted above, some types of alimony are subject to modification by a court if the circumstances warrant it. The change must have been unanticipated at the time of the award and must be permanent, involuntary and material. Common reasons to modify an alimony award include:
- Health crises for either party
- Long-term unemployment for either party
- Discovery of fraud at the time the court awarded alimony
- Financial windfall, such as an inheritance or lottery win
- Recipient entering a financially supportive relationship
Generally speaking, a voluntary job change that results in less pay will not justify a modification, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as poor health, that necessitated the change.
Contact our Miami family law firm for determined alimony representation
Given the effect an alimony decision will have on your financial future, it is important to have knowledgeable and determined representation. The experienced family law attorneys at Rafool, LLC can help. For immediate assistance, call us at (305) 567-9400 or contact our Miami office online to schedule an initial consultation.