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Spousal Support

Miami Spousal Support Lawyer Fights for You

Florida lawyer works to get you the alimony you need and deserve

Divorce can leave a person financially devastated, especially after a lengthy marriage. In Florida, you may be entitled to alimony — also known as spousal support — in certain circumstances. However, you must ask a judge to consider granting alimony and demonstrate your financial need, or you can lose your right to it. The Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A. in Miami will work to get you the maximum alimony available in your situation.

What types of alimony are available?

Florida law no longer allows for permanent alimony after a divorce. Instead, spousal support is granted in one of these three categories:

  • Durational alimony This type of alimony is granted for a term, which is a percentage of the length of the marriage: 75 percent for marriages of more than 20 years, 60 percent for those of 10 to 20 years and 50 percent for those of three to 10 years. (Marriages of less than three years do not qualify.) The award cannot exceed the lesser of the recipient spouse’s reasonable need or 35 percent of the difference between the spouses’ net incomes. The term may be extended upon a showing of factors that limit the recipient’s ability to become self-supporting.
  • Rehabilitative alimony — This type of alimony is paid for a limited time, not to exceed five years. It is meant to allow you to attain financial independence. You must show how you plan to do so, such as by going to school or getting job training.
  • Bridge-the-gap alimony This type of alimony helps you transition from being married to being single and may include funds for obtaining a vehicle or housing.

The court may order a combination of these forms of alimony to better help the recipient spouse become self-supporting. It also may direct that payments be in a lump sum or in periodic payments. As your counsel, we will seek the type of alimony arrangement that best serves your needs.

How is eligibility for alimony decided?

Alimony may be awarded to either spouse. The requesting spouse has the burden of demonstrating his or her need and the other spouse’s ability to pay.

In determining the need for alimony, the courts must consider the following factors:

  1. The length of the marriage
  2. The standard of living established during the marriage and the anticipated needs and necessities of life for each spouse after the divorce
  3. The age and mental, physical and emotional condition of both spouses, including any disabilities, and whether they are permanent or temporary
  4. The resources and income of each spouse from both marital and non-marital assets
  5. Earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills and employability of the spouses, including the ability of the recipient spouse obtain the necessary skills or education to contribute to his or her support
  6. The spouses’ contributions to the marriage, including homemaking, child-rearing and the education and career-building of the other spouse
  7. The responsibilities of each spouse for rearing the children they have in common, with special consideration given to children with mental or physical disabilities
  8. Any other factor found to be necessary for equity and justice between the spouses.

Either spouse’s adultery, and any resulting economic impact it has had on the spouses, may be considered in determining the amount of alimony awarded.

How is the amount of alimony calculated?

The amount of durational alimony is the lesser of (1) the recipient spouse’s reasonable need or (2) an amount not exceeding 35 percent of the difference between the net incomes of the spouses. Net income for each spouse is calculated by totaling actual and imputed gross income and then subtracting allowable deductions, according to the definitions set out in Florida Statutes § 61.30. As an example, if the husband has a net income of $80,000 and wife has a net income of $20,000, the wife’s award would at most be 35 percent of the $60,000 difference, which comes to $21,000.

Can my alimony award be modified or terminated?

Alimony may be modified if there is a substantial, material and permanent change that was unanticipated at the time of the original award. The following are examples of such changes:

  • Involuntarily loss of the paying spouse’s job
  • Inability of the paying spouse to work because of illness or disability
  • A significant decrease in the income of the paying spouse
  • Increase in income or new job for the receiving spouse
  • Child custody, time-sharing and support modification that causes a significant change to the finances of the paying spouse

In addition, a court must reduce or terminate alimony if it finds the recipient spouse is in a “supportive relationship” with another person (formerly known as cohabitation). The paying spouse has the burden of proving the relationship exists. Then the burden shifts to the recipient show the relationship does not constitute a substantial financial change.

Whether you need to make or oppose a change in alimony, we will make the strongest available case in your behalf.

Contact an experienced alimony attorney to protect your rights

The Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A. in Miami assists Florida divorcees in alimony disputes. We will fight to get you the alimony to which you are entitled or to limit your alimony obligation. Call us at 305-670-8656 or contact us online. Se habla español.

Lawrence  S.  Katz Attorney Photo
Lawrence S. Katz

For many years, Lawrence S. Katz has helped clients in Florida, throughout the United States and abroad. He has earned an excellent worldwide reputation for providing knowledgeable, quality representation in cross border family law matters and child abduction. He serves as counsel, co-counsel, consultant and expert witness.

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