Is It Possible to Avoid Alimony in a Tampa Divorce?
Of all the different factors of divorce, alimony is one of the most contentious and it is very difficult to determine up front whether you can avoid paying alimony. The purpose of alimony is to allow one party to financially support him or herself and their family during and after a divorce. Not all requests for alimony are reasonable, though. If your spouse is unfairly asking for support, there are ways you can protect yourself. Below, one of our Tampa alimony attorneys explains some aspects of alimony law.
Changes Made to Alimony Law in 2023
These changes include:
- The option to award permanent (lifetime) alimony is eliminated, leaving bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, and durational forms of alimony.
- Rehabilitative alimony is limited to 5 years.
- Durational alimony may not be awarded for a marriage of less than 3 years. The term of an award is limited based on the duration of the marriage, with certain exceptions, and may not exceed the lesser of the obligee’s reasonable need or 35 percent of the difference between the parties’ net incomes.
- A court must make specific written findings if it requires an obligor to purchase life insurance to secure the award of alimony.
- A court must reduce or terminate an award of alimony if it makes specific written findings that a supportive relationship exists. The bill places the burden on the obligor to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that such a relationship exists. Once proven, the burden shifts to the obligee to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the court should not reduce or terminate alimony.
Statutory Factors Courts’ Consider
Even still, Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes presently is very imprecise and subjective and the outcome will depend upon the judge who decides it. Of course there are statutory factors; however, it is how they are interpreted by the court which matters most. Family courts presently have great discretion in determining which factors to consider and in weighing the factors. Numerous factors can determine the amount of alimony to be granted, or even whether it will be granted at all. For instance, courts may consider:
- The length of the marriage
- A party’s ability to pay the support, and the other party’s need for the support
- The standard of living during the marriage
- Whether a party has been unemployed to care for the parties’ child or children
- Whether a party gave up a career to benefit the marriage
- Whether a party became disabled during the marriage and is not self supporting
- The marital and non-marital assets and debts of the marriage and their division
Call Our Tampa Alimony Attorneys for a Free Consultation
Not all requests for alimony are fair and it is important to work with a Tampa alimony attorney who can protect your rights. At All Family Law Group, P.A., we will outline the options available and prepare a case that will successfully refute your spouse’s arguments. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or email us to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys and to learn more about how we can help. Se habla Español.