Largo Alimony Attorney
Spousal support is perhaps the most controversial issue in a divorce matter. Some people view alimony as a necessary means to redistribute income following a marriage dissolution and enable obligees to become financially self-sufficient. According to many researchers, divorced women have much lower incomes than divorced men. Other people view alimony as little more than a divorce penalty. That’s especially true if a new spouse must subsidize payments to an ex-spouse.
Because of this controversy, many states, such as Illinois, have significantly reworked their spousal support laws in recent years. Florida legislators approved two such radical reworkings in recent years. The governor vetoed both of them. So, spousal support laws in the Sunshine State are still quite subjective.
The thorough Largo alimony attorneys at The Reep Law Firm advocate for our clients not only in courtrooms and around negotiating tables, but also at the statehouse. We don’t just stay on top of legal changes that matter to you and your family. In many cases, we are at the forefront of change. Family laws may change, but our commitment to our clients doesn’t change. We do whatever it takes to find long lasting and cost effective solutions that benefit your family, now and in the future.
Amount and Duration Determinations
Spousal support isn’t automatic in Florida. Instead, the judge must decide if alimony is appropriate, after considering the obligee’s financial need, if any, and the obligor’s ability to pay, as opposed to the obligor’s willingness to pay.
Other factors include the tax consequences of alimony payments, which recently changed at the federal level, and fault in the breakup of the marriage, a factor that most other states don’t allow judges to consider.
Based on all the listed factors, as well as any other factor the judge considers relevant, the following types of alimony are available:
- Temporary: This form of support, which ends when the judge finalizes the divorce, helps obligees pay attorneys’ fees, rental deposits, and other divorce-related expenses. Judges are more prone to award temporary alimony if the obligee was the non filing spouse.
- Bridge the Gap: These spousal support payments are basically extended temporary alimony. The judge may extend temporary alimony payments for up to two years, if the obligee has a financial need, such as finishing a degree, that will last that long.
- Rehabilitative: The most common form of alimony is basically extended bridge the gap payments. The court awards rehabilitative support in cases where one spouse can become self-supporting but needs time and financial assistance to redevelop previous skills, or to acquire education, training, or work experience necessary to develop necessary skills and enter the workforce. The obligee must file a rehabilitation plan with the court, and stick to the plan.
- Durational: This form of alimony crosses the line into income redistribution. Durational alimony is available for a maximum ten years if the obligee has a more serious economic need but doesn’t qualify for permanent alimony.
- Permanent: Seriously disabled spouses, spouses with custody of seriously disabled children, or spouses in similar extreme circumstances, are eligible for permanent alimony.
A Largo alimony attorney may make a motion to modify alimony payments, up or down, in all these situations, except for temporary alimony. These modifications are usually successful if key financial or emotional circumstances have permanently and materially changed. The duration of payments is subject to modification as well.
Rely on an Experienced Pinellas County Attorney
Family law matters usually involve financial and emotional issues. For a free consultation with an experienced alimony attorney in Largo, contact Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff. Convenient payment plans are available.