When Florida couples divorce, finances and how people will make ends meet post-marriage is often a primary concern. If one spouse was the main breadwinner and the other earned less or was a stay-at-home spouse, there may be disagreements as to the amount of alimony that will be paid. Another issue that may come up is the duration of the alimony. There are some situations in which the alimony is awarded permanently. Understanding when this can happen is important for the paying spouse and the receiving spouse.
When permanent alimony might be awarded
In other categories of alimony, there is generally a predetermined duration or stipulations as to what must occur for it to end. According to the law, there are only certain circumstances under which there will be an award of permanent alimony. For a person who does not have the ability to support him or herself and acquire life’s necessities after the divorce, there may be permanent alimony. This may occur independent of if it was a long marriage or a marriage of moderate duration if the facts show that the receiving spouse will not be able to meet those needs. There must be exceptional circumstances for there to be permanent alimony after a short marriage.
Key factors will include the standard of living from the marriage; how long the couple was married; the age and condition of the parties; financial resources including their assets; their earning capacity, education, vocational skills and if it is possible for them to acquire sufficient skills for self-support; if there are minor children; and any issue the court deems relevant. The award can be changed or stopped if there is a substantial change in circumstances.
Legal help can be important in family law cases and alimony awards
No matter how long a marriage lasted, permanent alimony might be awarded when the court renders its decision. Of course, there are other types of alimony that can be awarded including rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony and bridge-the-gap alimony. Every case is different and there could be reasons why a paying former spouse does not want to pay permanent alimony while the receiving former spouse requests it.
Since these laws can be confusing, it is wise to have legal assistance throughout the process. This is true whether the parties are on relatively good terms or they are unable to come to an amicable agreement. Having legal advice may be imperative and calling for help from a firm experienced in family law and divorce can be beneficial with a dispute over alimony.