West Palm Beach Alimony Lawyers
Alimony Services in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie & Indian River Counties
At Sasser, Cestero & Roy, P.A., we assist couples with negotiating the terms of their alimony award, also known as spousal maintenance, including the type, duration, terms, and amount. It is crucial to understand that if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, the court will evaluate your circumstances and award an alimony order on your behalf.
Designed to provide the dependent spouse with financial support for an allotted period, alimony is often one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. As such, it is advisable to consult with an experienced attorney beforehand.
Types of Alimony in Florida
There are 6 types of alimony the court may grant you in Florida (although one, lump sum, is technically considered a type of permanent or rehabilitative support): temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, lump sum, and/or permanent with rehabilitative being the most prevalent.
- Temporary Support: Temporary support is granted for a period before the divorce is finalized to ensure the dependent spouse remains financially stable during the dissolution process. The dependent spouse will need to demonstrate that he/she has a need for such support and the supporting spouse must have the ability to pay this support.
- Bridge-the-Gap Alimony: Florida is one of the few states that offers bridge-the-gap alimony. This support is intended to provide the dependent spouse with financial support for a limited amount of time while he/she transitions from married to single life. Bridge-the-gap alimony shall not exceed 2 years and ends when the supporting spouse dies, or the dependent spouse dies or remarries.
- Rehabilitative Support: The most prevalent form of alimony is rehabilitative support, which is awarded when the supported spouse needs additional time and funds to become self-sustaining. The supported spouse can attain necessary skills, education, training, and/or work experience during this time. Before the court awards rehabilitative alimony, the couple is required to establish a rehabilitative plan that is subject to the court’s review. This support terminates when the supporting spouse dies, or the supported spouse dies or remarries.
- Durational Support: In instances where the supported spouse requires financial assistance for a period after the divorce, but does not qualify for permanent alimony, durational support may be awarded. The length of durational support shall not exceed the length of the marriage itself. This type of support ends when the supporting spouse dies, or the supported spouse dies or remarries.
- Lump Sum Alimony: Lump sum alimony is a single monetary award paid once or in installments and cannot be modified at any time. This is technically not an additional form of alimony but a type of permanent or rehabilitative alimony granted under certain circumstances.
- Permanent Alimony: While uncommon, permanent alimony can be granted for spouses in need of financial assistance due to special circumstances, which may include a disability, advanced age, or having to care for a minor child with special needs. Permanent alimony ends when the supporting spouse dies, or the supported spouse dies or remarries.
Modifying & Terminating Alimony
Unless stated otherwise in a written agreement, either spouse has the right to request an alimony modification if there has been a significant change in circumstances after the initial order was put in place.
To reduce or terminate alimony, the supporting spouse must also demonstrate a significant change in circumstances, such as a reduction in income, involuntary loss of a job, or a disability, that would prevent him/her from being able to work.
Consult with an Experienced Lawyer at Our Firm
At Sasser, Cestero & Roy, P.A., we have extensive experience navigating how to establish, modify, terminate, and/or enforce an alimony award, with an emphasis on assisting high-profile clients. For cases involving high assets, we have considerable knowledge pertaining to tax implications and how to maximize tax benefits while safeguarding your interests.
For additional information about our alimony services, contact our firm today to speak with one of our reputable attorneys.