Spousal Support/Alimony Attorney in Clearwater
Continuing the Standard of the Marriage
The legal definition of alimony is: An allowance paid to a person by that person’s spouse or former spouse for maintenance, granted by a court upon a legal separation or a divorce or while action is pending. Simply put, alimony is a continuance of the standard of living in which you have become accustomed. At The Law Firm For Family Law, our Clearwater spousal support attorney is a Board Certified Expert in Marital and Family Law and he holds an MBA degree. Our expert is also an expert alimony attorney and he represents clients in alimony cases in Palm Harbor, Clearwater, New Port Richey and throughout Pinellas and Pasco Counties. Alimony is a complex issue because there are no guidelines currently provided in the statute as to the amount of alimony that should be awarded. At our law firm, our expert Clearwater spousal support attorney, reviews your case to determine the standard of living of the marriage and then analyzes the various factors included in the statutes and the various types of alimony available to determine the alimony to be sought or defended. At our law firm, we practice professionalism, integrity and compassion with each case, becoming partners with the individuals we represent long after the courts have reached an outcome.
Continuing Your Financial Standard of Living
When individuals reach the difficult conclusion of divorce, there are so many variables to consider, including how the economically weaker spouse will continue to enjoy their livelihood from a financial standpoint. The ever-important financial variable can develop into a stressful transition into single life. Our Clearwater spousal support attorneys can help negotiate a creative solution that satisfies your financial circumstances and overall needs to help soften the financial blow divorce can deliver.
Currently there are six types of alimony that a court can award:
- Temporary Alimony: This form of alimony is typically paid out while a divorce is still pending. Temporary alimony, sometimes referred to as alimony pendente lite, will end once the divorce is final and the court has had an opportunity to decide on whether to award longer-term forms of support.
- Bridge-the-Gap Alimony: This is a temporary form of support which can last no longer than two years. This form of alimony is intended to offer support while the receiving spouse is, for example, in the process of re-entering the workforce, seeking a certificate or vocational training, or waiting for a house to sell.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: Similarly to bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony is intended to support a spouse as they seek a degree or other training so that they can earn a living to support their own financial needs. The spouse seeking rehabilitative alimony must lay out in specific terms how much money they will need and the way in which the money will be spent to meet their employment goals.
- Durational Alimony: This form of alimony lasts for a fixed period of time, but cannot last longer than the length of the marriage. For example, if a couple was married for eight years, alimony will not be paid for any longer than eight years. Courts will award durational alimony if other, briefer forms of alimony are deemed insufficient to meet the receiving spouse’s needs.
- Permanent Alimony: As the name implies, permanent alimony is paid out until one of the spouses dies, or until the recipient spouse remarries. Florida courts will award permanent alimony only where it is clear that no other form of alimony would be fair and reasonable under the circumstances. The recipient spouse must prove that it is unlikely that their financial circumstances will improve to a point that they will be able to provide for their own needs, whether due to age, chronic health issues, lack of professional experience, or some other cause.
- Lump Sum Alimony: Alternately, some individuals may agree in settlement negotiations to pay the receiving spouse a lump sum, rather than make monthly alimony payments over the course of months or years.
This is the current state of Florida’s alimony laws, but state legislators have long been seeking to make dramatic changes to the system. If you are planning a divorce, or have already started that process, any alimony reform act that passes could have a dramatic impact on your divorce trial or mediation. You will need a Clearwater spousal support attorney who not only understands the current statutes requirements but who also has begun studying and preparing for changes in the statute that appear to be coming our way. Our expert Clearwater divorce attorney is familiar with the thinking of the legislature on these issues and has the experience and expertise to understand the pending legislative changes and its impact on your alimony case.
Modifying or terminating alimony payments
When financial circumstances change dramatically for either spouse, they may seek a modification of the alimony arrangement. Justifying a change in the amount or length of time alimony is paid requires that spouses make a strong case before the judge that the change is justified under the law. Bridge-the-gap alimony awards aren’t modifiable, and the length of time for which durational alimony is owed can’t be modified. When a recipient spouse remarries, a spouse dies, or a spouse receiving rehabilitative alimony fails to keep up with their plan, then alimony will terminate. Otherwise, alimony-paying spouses will need to argue their case to the judge, with the help of a skilled spousal support attorney, as to why alimony should end or be reduced. Our seasoned alimony attorney at The Law Firm for Family Law has represented spouses seeking to terminate or reduce alimony across Clearwater, St. Petersburg, East Lake, Tampa, and Palm Harbor, and is prepared to fight on your behalf before a Pasco, Hillsborough or Pinellas County court.
DETERMINING ALIMONY PAYMENTS
Under the current statute the Court has great discretion to determine how much alimony to award and for how long. Even if the legislature changes the statute and provides guidelines for the Court, the Judges of Pinellas County will still have great latitude in determining how much alimony will be paid and for how long it will be paid.
Alimony is assigned in a very specific format by the courts, and is subject to your individual situation only. No two alimony cases or the circumstances of their receipt are alike. It is important to talk with our expert Clearwater alimony lawyer at length regarding your personal circumstances. This conversation will allow our law firm to develop the best legal strategy available for you to collect alimony in any applicable category.
When your divorce proceedings begin, our Clearwater alimony attorney will assess your unique situation to determine which alimony strategy best suits your needs. There are a number of factors involved in determining alimony payments, including the length of the marriage, the history involved in the marriage, both party’s ages, and the employment history and the ability to gain employment through skill sets possessed by the recipient.
Hire a Spousal Support Lawyers in Clearwater, FL
With our extensive financial law experience, your and your spouse’s financial conditions will be examined in detail to ensure no item is left to chance. Your financial livelihood depends on our expert advice, and we take that charge very seriously.
My creative approach to examining your case and your alimony claim give you a better chance to reaching a settlement you can approve of, as my client. Call today (727) 531-8737