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Most people don’t get married ever imagining that one day they will be seeking a divorce. Many financial pressures occur in a divorce. A significant pressure is an imminent expense of running two households with the same amount of income that often times was insufficient to run one home.

This is often an overwhelming consideration for the spouse with little or no independent income. Florida law specifically allows for alimony in order to help divorced or separated spouses maintain their standard of living following the end of the marriage and to provide for their needs as they adjust to a new way of life without the income of their spouse.

Understandably, this is also a daunting financial consideration for the spouse with all or substantially all of the income. While Florida law allows for alimony, the law also requires that the payor spouse’s ability to pay be taken into consideration in all alimony awards.

At KM Welsh, P.A., we have worked with hundreds of spouses to work out alimony payment plans which fairly provide for the needs of both spouses, and to get the parties the assistance to which they are entitled. Lead attorney Kathryn Welsh has over 25 years of experience in representing individuals in the Largo, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater areas in obtaining and responding to alimony requests, and obtaining and responding to alimony modification requests. She will bring the highest level of professionalism, experience, and compassion to representing you in your alimony matter.

The Five Types of Alimony Available in Florida

In Florida, a family court may award one or more types of alimony. The five types of alimony a court may award are:

*          Temporary Alimony – The court can require one party to pay support to the other party while the divorce proceeding is ongoing.  Temporary alimony ends when the divorce is final, although it may be replaced by some other form of alimony.

*          Permanent Alimony provides support payments which will occur until the death of the recipient or payor, the remarriage of the recipient.  Permanent alimony may also be terminated or modified based upon changes in circumstances such as increase or decrease in income, retirement, or involvement in a supportive relationship.  It is more likely to be awarded following a marriage of long duration, although it may be awarded following a short marriage in exceptional situations. The purpose of permanent alimony is to provide for the needs and necessities of life for an ex-spouse who lacks the financial ability to meet those needs on his or her own.

*          Durational Alimony provides support payments for a period of time following the marriage, not to exceed the length of the marriage. A durational alimony award may be modified or terminated.

*          Bridge the Gap Alimony is similar to durational alimony in that it provides support payments for a limited time, but it is specifically geared towards situation where a spouse needs support for a limited amount of time following a marriage to reestablish themselves. Florida law limits bridge the gap alimony payments to two years.

*          Rehabilitative Alimony may be granted to help a party become self-supporting by redeveloping previous skills or credentials or acquiring the necessary education, training or work experience to develop appropriate job skills or credentials. An award of rehabilitative alimony is made only pursuant to a specific and defined rehabilitative plan.

Factors a Family Court Will Consider in Awarding Alimony

Courts do not award alimony in all cases, and the amounts awarded vary widely.  Some of the factors that the court will consider in determining alimony include:

*          The length of the marriage;

*          The standard of living established during the marriage;

*          The age, the physical and mental health of each party;

*          The available financial resources of both parties;

*          Whether a party’s career or education was disrupted because of the marriage

*          The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common;

*          The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment;

*          All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.

Contact KM Welsh, P.A. today

If you are seeking alimony, defending against a claim for alimony, looking to modify a prior alimony award, or are otherwise involved in a related family law matter, work with the experienced, compassionate legal team at KM Welsh, P.A. to obtain the results you desire. Call our office today at (727) 586-7088 to schedule a consultation.

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Largo, Florida 33771-5616

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