What is Alimony
It is not uncommon for a spouse to seek Alimony in a Divorce case. Alimony is a sum of money that is paid by one spouse to the other, which is meant to be used for financial support. To obtain a court order for Alimony, there must be a court action filed and pending before a Florida Court. Such a case is called, a “Dissolution of Marriage” action. Jurisdiction is established when at least one of the parties has resided in Florida for more than six (6) months prior to the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Either party may file the petition. There are strict rules in place as to how to serve the other spouse with the petition.
In 2023, Florida Governor DeSantis signed into Florida law, the “Alimony Reform Bill.” This law became effective on July 1, 2023. The law modified Section 61.08 of the Florida Statutes. This law made substantial and significant changes to the divorce laws in Florida, which is why it is important to obtain proper legal representation from an experienced and qualified family law attorney.
Alimony is often times requested when one of the spouse's in a divorce case lacks the financial means by which to pay for necessities of life, such as for food, shelter, clothing, etc. The other spouse is usually the “breadwinner” who has a history of providing financial support to the parties and their children during the course of the marriage. Before an award of Alimony can be made by a judge, the judge must find that the spouse who is being requested to pay for Alimony has the Ability to Pay for Alimony and that the spouse who is seeking Alimony, has a Need for Alimony. The law sets forth numerous, “relevant factors” that must be proven in court in order for a judge to issue a ruling that requires that Alimony shall be paid.
I have represented a significant number of clients in their divorce cases where one of the parties was either fully or partially dependent on the other spouse in order to make ends meet. The classic example involves those cases where one of the spouses has been a stay at home spouse while the other spouse has been employed outside the home and provided a source of income that the parties have utilized to pay for a certain lifestyle. Each case may have specific facts that either favors or disfavors a claim for Alimony.
It would be unfair and cruel for a judge to simply deny Alimony in certain divorce cases when the law reflects that fairness and justice is favored in Dissolution of Marriage actions. Once again, the specific facts of each case is what determines whether Alimony will be applicable. The law is not meant to punish one of the spouse's requirements to pay monthly alimony to the other spouse, but instead is a tool of the divorce laws that seeks to prevent the spouse who lacks financial means during and after the divorce from becoming impoverished or destitute.
With over 40 years of experience I can assist you in analyzing your case so that you can make sound and wise decisions with legal issues such as the issue of Alimony. I offer Free Consultations and can be reached 24/7.