Tampa Alimony Attorney
If you are getting divorced, you may think it’s appropriate to receive alimony from your former spouse for financial support while you establish yourself in the workforce or as compensation for the years you put into the marriage as a homemaker and caregiver. Likewise, if you are the wealthier, working spouse, don’t be surprised if your soon-to-be-ex requests alimony from the judge in your divorce. There are many different types of alimony under Florida law, and there are many various factors that go into deciding whether to award alimony, how much and for how long. If you are seeking or opposing an alimony award in your divorce, Tampa alimony attorney Laura A. Olson can advise and represent you, putting forward a convincing case for the judge when deciding the issue of alimony.
What kinds of alimony are there in Florida?
Florida laws on alimony recognize four different kinds of alimony: Bridge-the-gap, Rehabilitative, Durational, and Permanent.
- Bridge-the-gap alimony is awarded for a limited time, up to two years, while a spouse gets reestablished in life as a single person.
- Rehabilitative alimony is meant to help a spouse develop or redevelop the skills, credentials, job training or education necessary to be self-supporting. A spouse seeking rehabilitative alimony needs to develop a detailed rehabilitation plan which outlines how the spouse will become self-sufficient after the divorce.
- Durational alimony is simply financial support that is provided for a period of time decided by the judge based on the spouse’s request. Durational alimony can last for as long as the marriage lasted.
- Permanent alimony lasts until the recipient either dies or remarries, or the paying party dies. A Hillsborough County court will only order permanent alimony if the judge determines that none of the other forms of alimony are more appropriate. Although it is not a hard-and-fast rule, permanent alimony is more likely to be granted after a long-term marriage than a short-term one. Florida law considers a marriage less than seven years to be short-term, while a long-term marriage is one that lasted 17 years or more.
There is also a fifth type of alimony, known as temporary alimony or “pendente lite” in the courts. This is an interim award of alimony made during the divorce proceedings before a final decision on alimony is made in the final judgment of divorce. A divorce can take many months to get through, so having spousal support during this period can be crucial to allow a divorcing spouse to move out of the house and be self-supportive until the divorce is final. Temporary orders are customary in a Florida divorce, but they are not automatic. You must request temporary alimony from the judge if you want it, so talk to your attorney about getting temporary alimony at the outset.
How do the courts decide on alimony?
Florida alimony laws contain ten different factors that judges are supposed to consider when deciding whether to order alimony and if so, what kind, how much and for how long. These factors include:
- The standard of living during the marriage
- How long the marriage lasted
- The age and shape of the parties
- The financial resources available to each spouse, including nonmarital assets and what they received in the property division
- The earning capacities of each party
- How much each party contributed to the marriage, including wage-earning, homemaking, childcare and helping the other spouse build a career
- The child custody arrangement
- How an alimony award would get taxed for both parties
As an experienced litigator, Tampa alimony lawyer Laura A. Olson knows how to prepare and present a solid argument to guide the judge in analyzing how these factors apply to your case. Without strong and capable representation, the issue of alimony in your divorce may not turn out how you want or need it to.
Get Help with Alimony in Your Tampa Divorce
For help with alimony issues in a Tampa divorce, separation or post-divorce modification, call the Law Office of Laura A. Olson at 813-222-0888 to discuss your needs.