Florida Spousal Support
May 5, 2023
Are you concerned about how your impending divorce will affect your financial condition? Does the pending alimony reform bill in Florida have you concerned? If the answer is yes, we urge you to seek the expertise of a qualified Florida spousal support attorney at Mario, Gunde, Peters & Kelley! With us in your corner, you can effectively file for alimony as part of your divorce.
What Is Spousal Support?
Also known as alimony, spousal support is money one spouse pays to another as part of their divorce agreement. Spousal support helps alleviate the economic impact felt by the lesser-earning or financially less-advantaged party. This type of monetary benefit is often given out if the spouse had given up their career or education to support their partner or growing family.
Types of Spousal Support Agreements in Florida
Here are the current types of Florida spousal support agreements in Florida:
This type of alimony is meant to help the receiving spouse experience a smooth transition from married life or singledom. It involves a short-term agreement used to pay for their identifiable needs. You can use these payments to purchase a car or make a down payment for a mortgage.
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to the party who needs some time to re-learn or develop the skills needed to start working again. If you want to be eligible for this type of support, you must have a detailed plan that outlines your path to a financially independent life.
This offers financial assistance to the receiving individual from the moment they or their partner file the divorce papers to the day the marriage is legally dissolved. Depending on how complex the divorce is, this alimony payment can be paid for months or years until the divorce is finalized.
This alimony offers monetary support for a specific duration after the divorce finalization. Typically, durational alimony is awarded at the dissolution of short or medium-term marriages. It might last as long as the marriage lasted.
It offers financial support to the receiving individual until they remarry or either of the spouses dies. Permanent alimony is typically only awarded at the end of long-term marriages, defined to last more than 17 years by Florida law.
It is important to note that there is currently a new bill, SB 1416, which has passed the Florida Senate and is on the Governor’s desk that would eliminate permanent alimony and allow courts to grant alimony to either party in the form of “temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, or durational alimony, as is equitable.” This bill makes significant changes to the current alimony statute, so stay tuned!
This is just a form of payment that allows for the alimony to be paid all at once instead of monthly. It is often awarded if there are significant financial resources from which it can be paid, and if the court is unsure about the supporting spouse’s reliability, well-being, or future income.
How Our Lawyers Can Guide You to Pursue Spousal Support in Florida
At Mario, Gunde, Peters & Kelley, we have the skills and experience to provide our clients with top-tier legal services. Here are the steps we will take if you choose us to represent you in your spousal support case.
1. Assess Your Eligibility
Florida courts do not accept every individual’s spousal support request. It is why when you come to us with your case, we will study your circumstances to determine if pursuing an alimony claim will be in your best interest or not. If we deem you to be eligible for spousal support, we will work to help you obtain the support you need. However, if we believe you to be ineligible for alimony, we will guide you through other ways to receive financial support after your divorce.
2. Collect and File Your Paperwork
The spousal support claim process in Florida is tedious and requires ample paperwork. The court will ask to see your property appraisals, bank statements, and many other documents throughout the proceedings. When you work with us, our legal team will assist you in gathering all the paperwork you might need to show to the court. We will also submit all the documents to the court timely.
3. Negotiate Terms with the Other Party’s Divorce Lawyer
In some cases, it is possible to sit down with the other party’s lawyer to resolve the case and finalize an alimony deal that works for everyone. However, you do not want your spouse’s lawyer to take advantage of you in such circumstances. The only way to ensure that is to have an experienced attorney on your side. At Mario, Gunde, Peters & Kelley, we have experience negotiating alimony agreements for all sorts of clients. We understand how the opposing lawyers work, and we can represent you to hammer out a favorable deal for you.
4. In-Court Representation
If your spouse does not come to an agreement outside of court, we can take your case to court. We will be by your side, representing you throughout the process to ensure you end up with a favorable court ruling. Since we have years of experience representing families in courts, we will use our knowledge to fight for your spousal support.
Factors That Affect the Spousal Support You Get in Florida
A judge in Florida considers the following factors when determining the type and size of alimony to reward:
- How long the marriage lasted
- The established standard of living during the marriage
- The age and general well-being of both parties
- Marital assets and other financial resources and income of both parties
- All sources of income available to the partners, including investment-generated income
- The earning capacities, employability, and educational levels of both partners
- How the two individuals contributed to the household and marriage, such as through child care and homemaking
- Responsibilities to minor children
- The tax consequences of the alimony reward to both parties
- & other factors the court deems fit
Can You Change a Spousal Agreement Term at a Later Date?
According to current state law, the Florida spousal support terms can be altered later if there appears to be a permanent, significant, unanticipated, and involuntary change in the circumstances of one or both the involved parties.
Here are some causes that justify a change in the spousal support agreement:
- The supporting partner’s inability to work due to a disability or illness
- A marked reduction in the income of the supporting party
- A significant rise in the earnings of the receiving individual
- The receiving individual’s new marriage
- The supporting individual losing their job
It is important to note that there is currently a new bill, SB 1416, which has passed the Florida Senate and is on the Governor’s desk that would make significant changes to the current alimony statute. Although the changes will be substantial, they only apply to initial petitions for dissolution of marriage or support unconnected with dissolution of marriage pending or filed on or after July 1, 2023.
Contact Us for Spousal Support in Florida!
Mario, Gunde, Peters & Kelley are proud to have years of experience in leading and winning family cases and spousal support court proceedings. If you are looking for a spousal support lawyer in Florida, you cannot do better than the lawyers at Mario, Gunde, Peters & Kelley. So, reach out to us with your case today!