Serving Families Throughout Palm Beach Gardens

Spousal Support

Spousal Support, also known as Alimony, is awarded in Florida courts based on certain criteria including the length of the marriage and disparity in income between spouses. Understanding Florida alimony laws and making them work for you – is a strength of divorce lawyers of John F. Schutz, P.L..

Florida primarily recognizes five types of alimony: temporary alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony, and permanent alimony.

John F. Schutz, P.L. defends and prosecutes Florida alimony claims—and has achieved great success with both. We specialize in complex alimony issues such as proving the income available to business owners, who are often capable of manipulating their financial records to avoid Florida alimony laws. When appropriate, John F. Schutz, P.L. engages accounting professionals to trace income and find hidden assets.

Alimony is enforceable by seeking a finding of contempt by the court. Alimony can be modified due to changed financial circumstances.

What are the different types of alimony, and under what circumstances are they awarded?

Temporary alimony is alimony awarded while a divorce lawsuit is pending. It is usually awarded to maintain status quo, until a final judgement is reached.

Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded to support a spouse while transitioning from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a spouse with legitimate, identifiable, short-term needs. The length of an award usually will not exceed two years.

Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to assist a spouse in establishing the capacity for self-support, either by redeveloping previous skills/credentials or by acquiring education, training, or work experience necessary to develop appropriate employment skills or credentials. A specific rehabilitative plan must be included as part of any order awarding rehabilitative alimony.

Durational alimony may be awarded to provide a spouse with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration. Durational alimony may not exceed the length of the marriage.

Permanent alimony may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as established during the marriage for a spouse who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs following divorce. It is typically awarded following a marriage of long duration; following a marriage of moderate duration if appropriate upon consideration of other factors; or following a marriage of short duration if there are exceptional circumstances.

What factors will the Court consider when awarding alimony under Florida alimony laws?

The statutory factors the trial court must consider are as follows:

  1. The standard of living established during the marriage.
  2. The duration of the marriage.
  3. The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
  4. The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
  5. The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
  6. The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, childcare, education, and career building of the other party.
  7. The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
  8. The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
  9. All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
  10. Any other factor necessary to establish equity and justice between the parties.

How much alimony can I expect to receive from my spouse?

There are no set Florida alimony guidelines to determine the amount you will receive.  The Court will determine your alimony need based on your financial circumstances and your spouse’s ability to pay alimony.  Using this concept the Court determines what amount of alimony is awarded.

How long will I receive alimony?

Alimony can be awarded for a few months or for the rest of your life.  The duration and amount of alimony is specific to your case and depends upon many factors, some of which are the length of the marriage; disparity of income; health; education; and employment.

If there are no guidelines, how can I settle my alimony case without going to Court?

Based on our years of practice and past alimony rulings, Schutz & White can estimate for our clients what an alimony award from the Court is likely to be. This helps clients make informed decisions on reasonable alimony settlement payments.

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John F. Schutz, P.L. serves Palm Beach, Florida, and the surrounding areas of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, Manalapan, Stuart, Sewall’s Point, Tequesta, Abacoa and other areas, including all of Palm Beach County, Martin County and South Florida.

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