Divorce & Alimony Attorneys in Jacksonville Florida
Alimony is often an aspect of a divorce. When a marriage ends in divorce, most often, there are grounds for one spouse to be ordered to pay alimony payments to the other. There are many reasons why the court might order alimony payment to be paid to you or by you. Therefore it is very important for you to consult with a divorce attorney experienced in this area and who can sometimes negotiate with opposing council rather than asking an alimony judge to rule on alimony. The following are some of the aspects of the laws about alimony in Jacksonville Florida:
What is Alimony:
Alimony is a support obligation of one spouse to the other spouse. It is the continuation of one party’s duty to support the other, which grows out of a marital relationship. Alimony is available for either party and can be requested by the respondent in dissolution proceedings. Alimony is governed strictly by statute and equitable distributions are separate inquiries.
More information about Alimony:
After dissolution, parties may agree on an alimony amount. Alimony and alimony agreements can always be modified by the court as equity requires. Alimony generally cannot be granted after marriage is annulled, however temporary alimony is available during the pendency of proceedings.
Adultery may be considered when awarding alimony. The Trend is to consider adultery only if the adultery contributed to a depletion of assets or is relevant for other financial reasons. With respect to adultery, the courts tend not to award alimony for punitive reasons.
As far as the amount of alimony awarded, the court must make a specific factual determination whether either party has an actual need for alimony and whether either party has the ability to pay alimony. The award of alimony may not leave the payer with significantly less net income than the net income of the recipient, unless there are written findings of exceptional circumstances. The courts must consider all relevant economic factors.
There are five primary types of alimony:
- Alimony pendent lite (suit money): alimony granted pending a suit for divorce or separation to include a reasonable allowance for the prosecution of the suit. (also called temporary alimony)
- Bridge-the-gap alimony: An amount of alimony ordered by the court to be paid as rehabilitative alimony for an established period of time. For example, In 1979, the 4th district court ordered a wealthy man of 72 to pay his wife $1,000 per month rehabilitative alimony for four years, or until she received her bachelors degree, whichever came first. The marriage had lasted a mere seven months.
- Rehabilitative alimony: Rehabilitative alimony is a tool used by the court to provide financial support of a limited duration to a spouse whose earning capacity was limited in some way by the marriage.
- Durational alimony: Durational alimony is distinctly different from rehabilitative alimony. Durational Alimony is not intended to facilitate the earning capacity of a dependent spouse or to make a sacrificing spouse whole. Instead, it is appropriate when an economic need for alimony is established, but the marriage was of short duration, and permanent alimony is therefore not appropriate.
- Permanent alimony: Permanent alimony is an amount awarded based on the need of the recipient, and the ability of the payor to pay the amount. as noted above, the amounts awarded by the court can be to either party and are determined by the court based on the earning capabilities and needs of both parties.
These five types of alimony are awarded based on the length of the marriage, the financial situation of the parties, and the parties’ ability to support themselves after the dissolution.
Alimony can be modified, but the party seeking a modification must show a substantial change in circumstances of financial ability of either party. If only a lump sum or no alimony was awarded initially, and the court did not reserve jurisdiction to award alimony in the future, there is no award to modify, and all future rights to alimony are terminated.
Enforcing alimony orders is done through the circuit court where the original dissolution action was filed via filing a motion for contempt. Alimony is subject to the same enforcement mechanisms that are available for child support orders.
If you are facing a divorce where alimony will most likely be involved or are in need of a divorce attorney in Jacksonville, call the lawyers of McGRATH GIBSON to schedule a consultation at (904) 358-3300. We will help you understand everything that may be involved in your divorce case and take every possible step to protect your rights.
Call the divorce and alimony attorneys at McGRATH GIBSON to schedule a free Consultation at (904) 358-3300. We look forward to being your attorney!
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The lawyers of McGRATH GIBSON are licensed to practice in the states of Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. Additionally, we represent the injured throughout the United States pro hoc vice, and with the help of local counsel. While we strive to personally handle all types of personal injury and wrongful death claims there are occasions where cases may be referred to another lawyer. We proudly offer representation to Military Veterans and the Men and Women who currently served our armed forces at the Mayport Naval Station, Naval Air Station of Jacksonville, Camp Blanding, United States Army, Army Reserve, United States Marines, Florida National Guard, Air National Guard, United States Coast Guard, Air Force, and Air Force Reserve. McGRATH GIBSON family law attorneys offer representation in the areas of Family Law, Divorce, Alimony, Child Custody and Child Support throughout Florida. Representation for Military Divorce handled throughout the United States and U.S. Territories independently or with local counsel where required.
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