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Seeking alimony in a Florida divorce

When wealthy couples in Florida divorce, many issues surrounding money and the couple's finances are likely to arise. In some cases, one spouse might be especially concerned about his or her financial well-being post-divorce. In these cases, alimony will likely be requested. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the marriage, a spouse might be able to obtain and maintain spousal support for years following dissolution.

In the state of Florida, spouses can seek alimony in a variety of situations. Alimony can take various forms, and each type of alimony is suitable for specific situations. However, in order for an alimony awarded to be ordered, property division must have taken place. This is due to equitable division playing a role in the court's decision to award a certain type or amount spousal support.

Alimony can be ordered in a variety of ways. A court could order permanent periodic alimony, lump-sum alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, a combination of different alimony types or no alimony at all. Permanent or periodic alimony is frequently awarded to meet the needs of a dependent spouse; however, it is also awarded as a means to balance the inequalities that result in property division. Lump-sum alimony awards can also be used for this purpose as well.

The most common reason for alimony is to provide a dependent spouse support post-divorce. This financial award is not only based on need but also the ability to pay it. Thus, only if it is deemed appropriate, such as to help a spouse obtain necessary training or education, will a court award alimony. Nonetheless, factors such as earning capacity, length of marriage and contributions made during marriage will also serve to determine if spousal support is necessary.

If you are dealing with alimony or any other divorce issues, it is important to understand your rights. This can help you take proper action and even timely resolve them. If you believe you are owed an alimony award or seek to enforce or modify a current order, it is vital to understand the process and how best ot protect your rights.

Source: Thefreelibrary.com, "Overview of Florida alimony." Accessed Oct. 30, 2017

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