Alimony in Florida
I always find it exciting when a client comes in for a consultation and insists that his or her primary concern is for both parties to emerge from the divorce unscathed. After all, they explain, there was a great deal of love shared for a number of years and that is something he or she will be eternally grateful for. At that point, I can hardly contain my joy at the thought of working with such an enlightened being. It’s wonderful… heart warming in fact! And, just when I am about to break out the tambourine for a duet of Kumbaya, my guest clears their throat, leans forward and casually asks, “Sooo, how do I get paid?”
Alimony Laws in Florida
Spousal support requires two separate determinations: (1) entitlement and (2) amount. What most individuals facing divorce don’t understand is rather than asking “How do I get alimony?” their question should be “Am I entitled to spousal support?” If you remember one thing, let it be that the primary factors for entitlement are need and ability to pay. Perhaps the most common misconception is that the payee is entitled to spousal support just because he or she is making peanuts in comparison to the rubber band banks the payor is holding. Disparity of income is not enough to justify a support award. In fact, it is an abuse of discretion for a court to award an amount that exceeds a spouses need. Further, it is imperative to note that the issue of alimony is raised only after the marital estate has been divided. In a scenario where the spouse receives sufficient income-producing assets through equitable distribution such that all needs are otherwise met, alimony is not appropriate, regardless of the wealth of the other spouse.
As noted, securing an a support award is not the wham bam thank you ma’am walk in the park that many assume it to be. Whether you are looking to get paid or trying to protect your keesh, your best bet is to find an alimony lawyer who will work tirelessly to ensure that your financial interests are protected.