If you are contemplating divorce in Florida, spousal support –“alimony” - is likely on your mind. That’s normal.
We’ll provide spousal support tip basics here, plus the contact information for experienced Florida divorce lawyers, should you need legal guidance specific to your individual case.
1. Keep in mind why spousal support is required in some situations. Spousal support is required to keep a spouse from becoming impoverished, support a spouse in a historic lifestyle, and help a spouse until he or she can support himself or herself. Spousal support is NOT based on gender.
2. Spousal support is not automatic. If you need support, you must ask for it. The sooner, the better, so you don’t miss months of payments.
3. Temporary spousal support lasts until the divorce is final and is based on the incomes of the two spouses.
4. “Permanent” spousal support isn’t necessarily permanent. It begins when the divorce is final and continues for a period of time based on the incomes, expenses, work history, education, health, family situation, earning potential, assets, and length of marriage of the two spouses.
- If your marriage lasted 10 years or less, a very general guide is that spousal support will be required for ½ the years you were married.
- If your marriage lasted 10 years or more, the judge has wide discretion and spousal support can be granted for any length of time – typically the longer the marriage, the longer the spousal support.
- Spousal support often ends when either spouse dies, the receiving spouse remarries, or upon court order.
- However, you do not need to go to court or follow what others have done. You and your spouse can decide for yourselves what is best for you and your family situation.
5. You and your spouse can negotiate and agree to anything that works for your family – or you can go through divorce mediation – or you can ask the court to make decisions on your behalf.
- If you want to save money and stay in control, then negotiations and/or mediation are the way to go.
- If you and your spouse can’t communicate or it’s an abusive situation, going to court may be right for you.
6. Divorce lawyers are sometimes referred to “family law” attorneys. They guide people going through divorce and help them deal with property division, spousal support, timesharing (i.e. custody), and child support related issues.
Where to Get Florida Spousal Support Legal Advice