Top Factors You Should Discuss with Your Alimony Attorney
Simply put, divorces are rarely amicable situations. When the subject of alimony is brought to the table, an additional amount of stress and uncertainty is instantly added to the equation. While actually calculating the amount of alimony is in the hands of the court, your Tallahassee family law attorney can be instrumental in the process.
When the courts determine whether alimony will be warranted and the amount, there are several factors taken into consideration. The following information explains some of the top factors affecting the type and amount of alimony awarded through Florida divorce courts. In any case, it’s important you and your Tallahassee divorce attorney have a thorough conversation about the following areas.
Standard of Living
The standard of living for both you and your estranged spouse has a significant value in determining alimony. As a result, the discussion with your Tallahassee divorce lawyer should include the standard of living. To effectively execute this discussion, your Tallahassee attorney must go over the value of all the assets involved in the marriage, such as vehicles, homes, and anything else of value.
In addition, alimony can also be affected by the type of recreational activities you participated in while married. This means you should discuss activities such as vacationing habits with your Tallahassee alimony lawyer. A good rule of thumb is, the more expensive lifestyle of the married couple, the more likely alimony will be awarded. Since the overall goal of the court is to maintain the lifestyle obtained during the marriage of both parties, it’s vital for you have a thorough discussion with your Tallahassee alimony attorney about all the aspects of your standard of living.
Length of Time Married
In Florida divorce courts, typically the longer the marriage lasts, the more prevalent and significant spousal support will be. Your Tallahassee alimony attorney will use the following parameters to classify your marriage:
- Long Term Marriages are considered to be marriages longer than 17 years.
- Moderate Term Marriages are less than 17 years but more than 7 years.
- Short Term Marriages are any marriages that lasts less than 7 years.
Condition of Both Parties Holistically
Another factor in determining alimony in Florida is the physical and mental condition of both spouses. Because of this, It’s important for you to discuss any mental or physical conditions affecting you or your ex with your Tallahassee divorce lawyer. In most cases, when one spouse is disabled, older, or suffering from health issues, the probability of alimony is greatly increased. On the other hand, someone who is younger and is in good health would be less likely to be awarded alimony.
Alimony payments are based on need and the other spouse’s ability to accommodate those needs. As a result, it’s important for your Tallahassee alimony lawyer to examine both the marital and non-marital assets. Simply put, all of the financial resources available to both spouses will be examined by the court. If a child is involved, the court will consider the cost of raising the child as a factor as well. When you discuss your financial resources with your Tallahassee alimony attorney, even your pre-marital corporate holdings can be a factor.
Another major factor affecting spousal alimony is the capacity of both spouses to earn money professionally. When you speak to your Tallahassee alimony attorney, they will discuss the professional experience, education, and employability of both spouses. Your family law attorney will review whether you or your spouse could earn a living if not working at the time of the divorce. Simultaneously, an experienced alimony attorney will explain that a spouse could receive alimony for rehabilitative practices if they are unemployed but trainable, such as vocational training or a vocational evaluation.
Contributions to the Marriage
In addition to all of the other factors, your Tallahassee alimony lawyer will discuss each spouse’s contribution to the marriage including non-financial. Your Tallahassee family law lawyer will discuss these contributions, such as homemaking, child rearing, and any career building efforts of one spouse to the other. This alimony discussion is necessary between you and your divorce lawyer because in many cases one spouse makes significant efforts to the overall enhancement of the marriage, family, and home. One common example of this is when one spouse stays at home to take care of the family, while the other spouse earns income for the house.
Parenting Responsibilities in the Future
In the state of Florida, unless your Tallahassee family law attorney proves there is existing potential harm for the child, parenting rights are mutual. At the same time, your divorce attorney can use this as a factor in determining alimony. In addition, factors like the health and medical needs of the child, time-sharing, educational needs, and religious needs are all factored into the equation. It’s important to discuss these factors with your alimony attorney.
Implications of Taxes
In Florida, receiving alimony payments does qualify as taxable income or as a taxable expense, but there are always exceptions. When you are working with your Tallahassee alimony lawyer, they will take the tax implications of alimony payments into consideration for both spouses. As a result, these figures will be used by your alimony lawyer to project an alimony amount.
When you speak to your Tallahassee divorce attorney, any type of income received by any party will become a factor in determining alimony awards. This income does include investments. For example, if one spouse has a securities portfolio that has earned 15% annual return, those historic returns could be a factor in spousal monthly payments as additional income.
If adultery is a factor in the dissolution of your marriage, it’s imperative you discuss it with your Tallahassee alimony attorney. At the same time, your divorce lawyer could use the circumstances of the adultery to have alimony denied.