Alimony and Potential Alimony Modification
The award of alimony (also known as spousal support) is a key issue at the center of many divorces and must be resolved during the course of a proceeding for dissolution or voluntary property settlement. Alimony is a court ordered payment by one party to the former spouse for purposes of support after the divorce and can vary in type, amount, and duration. Under Florida law, alimony can be structured in a variety of ways, which is determined during the divorce proceedings and generally awarded by a court as part of the divorce decree. Alimony consists of either, or a combination of, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent support paid by one party to the former spouse.
When is Alimony Awarded?
Alimony is determined on a case by case basis by applying several factors. Among the factors a court may consider are the:
- standard of living established during the marriage;
- duration of the marriage;
- age and physical condition of each party;
- available financial resources;
- earning capacity and employability;
- contribution of each party to the marriage (for example, homemaking, child care, and career building);
- tax treatment and consequences of an alimony award; and
- sources of income available to each party.
In addition, a court may consider any other factor in the interest of equity and justice. Due to the wide range of considerations and the unique facts of each relationship, determining the amount of alimony to be paid can be a complex and contentious part of any dissolution proceeding. Unfortunately, issues related to alimony awards often continue even after the divorce is finalized.
Life after a divorce can be unpredictable, and one may find themself, or their former spouse, in different circumstances years after the divorce became final. Often, the spouse affected by a change in circumstances will ask the court to modify its obligations under the original divorce decree. Upon such a request, the court will consider additional factors that may support a decision to modify an alimony award. Factors that may support an adjustment to an alimony award include an involuntary, permanent, and substantial change in the life of the party obligated to make the alimony payment to their former spouse. The most common example is a change in the party’s job or career that is permanent and substantially affects the person’s ability to satisfy their obligations under the original divorce decree. Other reasons may include the fact that the recipient of the alimony award has become involved in a permanent supportive relationship, which may be grounds to reduce or terminate the alimony award.
Our Attorneys Can Help You
Resolving issues of alimony during and after the initial divorce proceeding will have a serious impact on your future. The attorneys of All Family Law Group, P.A. are knowledgeable Florida divorce attorneys who have experience in alimony issues during all stages of a divorce. If you are faced with a change in your circumstances, or a change that may impact your former spouse and their ability to pay an alimony award, we can help protect and assert your rights under Florida law. Contact the alimony and divorce attorneys at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa at 813-816-2232 for a free consultation.