Alimony: What You Should Know During the Divorce Process

Alimony: What You Should Know During the Divorce Process

When you file for divorce, your Tampa Bay lawyer may advise you to request alimony. Alimony refers to payments made from one ex-spouse to the other. Although women have traditionally been the recipients of alimony, men can also receive alimony from their ex-wives. It depends upon which ex-spouse earned a higher income. Your divorce attorney can help you learn about alimony and which factors the court may consider when deciding whether to award it.

Is Alimony Separate from Child Support?

Yes, alimony is separate from child support. If there are children involved with the marriage and if you have primary physical custody of them, your divorce attorney can help you receive both child support and alimony payments. Child support payments are intended to go toward the cost of rearing the children, whereas alimony payments are intended to help you maintain the same standard of living you enjoyed during your marriage.

What Are the Types of Alimony?

Your family law attorney can help you understand the different types of alimony. You may be eligible for temporary alimony, in which case you'll receive financial support until the divorce is finalized. Bridge-the-gap alimony refers to payments made upon finalization of the divorce. However, it is also short-term and is usually awarded for a period of up to two years. If you did not work during your marriage or your current wages are insufficient, you may be eligible for rehabilitative alimony. This type of alimony is intended to help you receive the education or training you need to attain employment. Sometimes, the court may decide that your need for alimony may be permanent if you are unable to support yourself. However, a new bill in Florida proposes the elimination of permanent alimony and severe restrictions placed on other types of alimony. It's imperative to consult a skilled divorce lawyer to help you obtain the alimony you need.

What Factors Does the Court Consider?

The court considers a number of factors when deciding whether to award alimony and how much to award. The court will consider the duration of your marriage, your standard of living during the marriage, the financial resources of each ex-spouse, and the vocational skills and education level of each ex-spouse, among several other factors.

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