Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is a common component of a dissolution of marriage case. But there are often many questions about how to receive alimony in a dissolution of marriage. Dealing with the emotional aspects of a dissolution of marriage is difficult enough, so understanding what alimony entails – and how to receive it –can help to reduce your stress and can give you a sense of stability to move forward with the next steps in your life.
First, it is important to understand the basics of alimony/spousal support and the differences between it and other types of financial support related to a dissolution of marriage.
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What is Alimony in a Dissolution of marriage?
Alimony in a dissolution of marriage is an ongoing income provided to help financially support a spouse after a dissolution of marriage. The intent of alimony is to prevent or address unfair or unreasonable economic effects for a spouse that can arise with the transition.
There are several justifications for alimony in family law. One is to maintain the standard of living that you had while you were married. People will often have changes in taxable income and other financial areas after the dissolution of marriage. Another justification is that a spouse will often have chosen to postpone or forego their career for the needs of the family. After the dissolution of marriage, it takes time to develop job skills and obtain enough income to support yourself financially.
Who Pays Alimony in a Dissolution of Marriage?
The traditional views on who pays and who receives alimony in a dissolution of marriage are evolving. Many marriages now have two wage earners – and the alimony recipient is typically the lower wage earner. It is important to understand that not all dissolution of marriage cases, when finalized, include an alimony payment. It is also important to know that child support is a separate matter from alimony; just because you receive alimony does not mean you will not receive child support.
Receiving Alimony in a Dissolution of Marriage
The matter of alimony is assessed differently in a dissolution of marriage than child support because child support is regulated by statute. The courts have a broad scope of authority to determine (1) whether or not the alimony will be awarded and (2) how much the payments will be and how long they will last.
The judge will typically look at a variety of factors when considering awarding alimony to a party, including:
- The length of the marriage—only marriages of a certain length allow alimony to be awarded
- The condition of the finances for the spouses
- The physical condition, emotional state, and age of the spouses
- The standard of living enjoyed by the couple while they were married
- The financial ability of the spouse who is paying the alimony to support their ex-spouse while still supporting himself or herself
- Reasonable monthly expenses of each of the spouses
- The ability of the recipient to support him or herself without assistance, including job training or additional education
It is highly recommended that you obtain an experienced family law attorney when you are involved in a dissolution of marriage. Not only can they help you with alimony, but they can also lead negotiations in the distributions of assets and in the areas of child custody and child support. With these vital decisions, it is critical to have a legal professional who can ensure your voice is strongly represented and your interests are advocated for during the dissolution of marriage.
How Long Does Alimony Last?
If the recipient of the alimony gets remarried, the awarded funds are typically terminated, although there are some exceptions. Since there are several different types of alimony, the length of time a person may receive alimony differs based on the specific situation. Alimony could be awarded for a short period of time, or it could continue on for the rest of a party’s life.
Most alimony awards will terminate upon the death of the person receiving alimony. If the person obligated to pay alimony dies, it does not necessarily mean alimony will end. It will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The courts will frequently take into account the state of health and the age of the recipient when awarding alimony, and a judge may determine that funds for alimony will be distributed via the ex-spouse’s life insurance proceeds or their estate in the event that the payor dies before the alimony award terminates.
Contact Golden Key Law Today
The family law attorneys at Golden Key Law have the knowledge and experience in alimony and other complex family law aspects. They understand the process of receiving alimony in the dissolution of marriage and work zealously for their clients — helping people get through this tough time in their lives.
Our Florida dissolution of marriage lawyers fight hard for you every step of the way.
Call 727-317-4738 to schedule a consultation and protect your interests today.