Your financial situation changes after a divorce. You and your soon-to-be ex used to be able to live off of two salaries together, but now you both are going to live apart and survive on your own. The side effect of divorce that many people deal with is the change in the standard of living post-divorce. Two salaries are significantly better than one, and now there are things you and/or your ex-spouse can’t do as you did before. Depending on who was the breadwinner, or your standard of living, you may be able to get financial support from your ex-spouse or have to give it to them. These payments are known as alimony or spousal support.

If you need alimony or want to control just how much you’re being asked to pay in spousal support, you need an Orlando alimony attorney who’s familiar with the local trends, typical court cases, and more. You can find that attorney at C. Alvarez Law.

How Does Alimony Work?

Alimony is a form of financial support one spouse can be legally required to pay the other after divorce. For context, it wasn’t until the 1960s that women were allowed to have their own bank accounts. This meant that many women were left financially independent of their husbands and unable to support themselves if they wanted to leave their marriages. Even today, many traditions may leave one spouse at an extreme disadvantage post-divorce. Alimony is supposed to help them.

Alimony is based on need and helps an economically disadvantaged spouse maintain a standard of living similar to that enjoyed during the marriage. Oftentimes, it can’t be exactly the same, but if it’s possible without severely injuring the partner’s finances, a good attorney can convince courts to pay the suffering spouse as much as they need.

It’s important to remember that alimony is independent of child support and child custody if there are children involved. Being the custodial and/or legal guardian of your children does not entitle you to spousal support. You can be the custodial guardian and still have to pay spousal support if finances move a certain way.

What Factors Matter When Calculating Alimony?

Divorce proceedings start the process of determining whether one spouse will have to provide alimony payments. To start, a spouse must show that they have a need for alimony in order to receive it. They can do this by showing that they are not able to maintain even close to the standard of living they had when they were married.

When deciding if an alimony award should be made, the court generally looks at factors such as:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each partner’s age and health
  • Each partner’s current income
  • Each partner’s earning potential, based on previous employment and education
  • Each partner’s educational level
  • Any assets or debts acquired during the marriage
  • One partner’s contributions to the other’s career advancement
  • Any tax implications associated with awarding or denying alimony

Not being able to support oneself long-term post-divorce isn’t enough to justify spousal support. If the partner asking for spousal support is well-educated and has a strong work resume, the court has reason to believe that they can find employment that will help them regain or come close to their standard of living. It’s also not an all-or-nothing scenario either. Alimony can be made to match the situation.

For example, if the court believes that a spouse could potentially get employment within a certain amount of time, they may assign temporary alimony, also known as “rehabilitative alimony.” This will support them until a designated period or a standard of living is met.

Permanent alimony is no longer legal in Florida of Gov. DeSantis’s recent bill. Before, it was for when a spouse could likely never reach full economic self-sufficiency following their divorce. This is more common when a partner has no degree, or job experience, which is less and less common today. It would only end until the partner receiving alimony is remarried, or one of them passes away. Now, there are more reasons a couple can use to end alimony, and it can no longer be made with the expectation that it will last until death or remarriage.

Why You Need an Orlando Alimony Attorney

Even if your spouse has a full-time job, they may ask for spousal support. Both people need to understand how much they will either pay or receive before they can map out their new budget. Depending on the attorneys representing each side, alimony can be fair or unfair. Protect yourself with experienced legal guidance.

Allow C. Alvarez Law to take on the legal aspects of your divorce like spousal support and more. With our help, you can focus on healing and being present for your children. We have extensive experience with these issues, and we will guide you through them. Contact us today for help.