Are There Different Types of Alimony in Florida?

There are, actually, and again depending on need and ability to pay and depending on the length of the marriage, alimony can be looked at different ways. There’s what’s called “bridge the gap” alimony, which is essentially a short term solution which is to provide support to the spouse with the least income. It’s a transitional thing from being married to being singly. That’s where the “bridge the gap” comes in. There’s also a form of alimony called “rehabilitative.” If one spouse is in the process of getting a higher degree or some other form of education, what the other spouse can do is provide support during that period of time to help that spouse get a better job and a higher income. There is also what is called “permanent alimony.” Permanent alimony is typically reserved for cases where a marriage is seventeen years or longer in duration in the eyes of Florida law. And, that essentially creates an alimony obligation for the paying spouse to continue paying alimony for either their life or the life of the spouse receiving alimony.

Can Alimony Be Modified or Terminated in Florida?

Yes, it can. Depending on if the person who is paying the alimony, if they no longer have the same stream of income as to when they agree to pay that certain alimony amount, they can petition the court to have alimony reduced. Or, if the party that who is receiving alimony, if one gets knowledge that they are suddenly making a lot more money than they were before, and there’s no longer a need for the alimony, the alimony can be modified at that time. Typically, in cases where one of the parties dies, either the receiving spouse or the spouse who is making the alimony payments, alimony typical ends at that time. Or, if the receiving spouse remarries, it’s typically in a marital settlement agreement that upon remarriage, the alimony will end at that time.

Can I Oppose a Divorce in Florida?

Well, as sad as this may be for some folks to hear, unfortunately you cannot oppose a divorce in Florida. Because Florida is a no-fault divorce state, it is nearly enough for one party to allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken. You can certainly try to do your best to argue that it isn’t. At the end of the day, however, if the other party is motivated enough and it gets through the process of mediation and eventually a trial, (even if you do not want a divorce) a judge would still find at that point that the marriage is irretrievably broken and grant it.

What is a Person’s Rights if Their Spouse is Cheating on Them?

Adultery or infidelity in Florida, because Florida is a no-fault divorce state, adultery or infidelity only really matter in a very small or limited context. Typically in cases where if the spouse that’s committing the adultery is wasting marital assets in furtherance of the adultery like for example if someone is paying for their boyfriend or girlfriend’s car insurance or car loan or rent at an apartment. That can be charged against that spouse when it comes time to divide the marital estate.

Can You Limit Your Exposure by Having a Prenuptial Agreement?

What the case law in Florida generally reflects is that the only type of alimony that a party can not waive out of or contract out of in a pre-nuptial agreement is temporary attorney’s fees. All other types of attorney’s fees or alimony you could always limit by that pre-nuptial agreement.

Can Men Seek Alimony in Florida?

Absolutely. Because Florida law does not create a presumption with regard to gender whether male or female, very much like it does with regard to custody not showing a presumption for the mother over the father. Similarly in alimony calculations, it’s just simply based on need and ability to pay. If the wife makes considerably more money than the husband, and the husband has a need for alimony and the wife has the ability to pay, that would certainly be up to the court to award in that case.

Can My Spouse Tell Me That I Cannot See My Kids?

Absolutely not. Both parents have a right to visit and see their children. And in many jurisdictions in Florida, the issue, which is called a a temporary standing order, outlines the parameters of how the parties are to behave during the pendency of the litigation. One of the parameters is that the residential parent, or the parent with the majority of time sharing, has an affirmative obligation and a duty to provide time-sharing to the parent that does not have the majority time-sharing. It is a very poor choice or bad decision for one parent to alienate children from the other spouse, as that can also be a factor in determining custody at the time it goes to trial, if it does so.

How to Choose a Divorce Attorney?

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a divorce attorney in Florida. One of them is, of course, looking at the experience of the lawyer that you are looking to hire. If you have certain issues in your divorce csae, that this attorney has experience in handling, I think that is very crucial. In some cases, divorce can get very complex. It’s not a simple matter of dividing a house, getting some time-sharing with the children, and a 401k. Sometimes it can things like valuing a business or what sort of future income is going to be and making some sort of projection with regard to alimony or something of that nature. Thus, it is very important to look at an attorney’s prior experience in handling those kinds of matters when considering a divorce attorney.

I think it’s also about personality as well. I know that oftentimes there is a premium put on whether or not the attorney is “aggressive.” My personal opinion about that is that aggression is not always a good thing. Sometimes if you’re too aggressive you’ll push the other party in the other direction, rather than seeking a favorable resolution that would be good for both parties. So, that’s certainly something to consider when choosing a good attorney.

Divorce but our house is underwater. How do we handle this?

Well, there is a couple of ways you can handle a divorce when your house is underwater. For one, you guys can agree to sell the home in a short-sale. Another thing that can be done is if one of the parties agrees to take the house as part of the marital settlement agreement, (if they are able to continue making the mortgage payments on the home, despite the fact the home is underwater) they can do that as well. Those are typically the ways in which a home that’s underwater is taken care of in a divorce. Any other option is to go through the procedures of foreclosure, that would be another way.

How Are Assets Split in a Divorce?

Florida law requires that assets in a divorce are divided equitably. A lot of time, people mistake equitable for equal. but the technical meaning of the word is what’s most fair, not necessarily what is equal. What a court typically does in those sorts of cases is they look at how to most fairly distribute the assets between the husband and wife. And, a lot of times, things like the earning power of the two parties, future incomes, things of that nature may matter.

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