Alimony is a common factor in many divorce cases. However, regardless of popular belief, not every spouse who requests alimony will receive it. In the State of Florida, there are a number of factors that are considered in an argument or request for alimony.
In this article, we will explain what alimony is and how it is calculated in a divorce.
What is Alimony?
Before we get too far, what is alimony, exactly? In the State of Florida, alimony is also known as maintenance and is broken down into different categories, which include:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony
- Rehabilitative alimony
- Duration alimony
- Permanent alimony
Depending on the circumstances of the marriage and the divorce, including the length of marriage, finances, and even reasons for divorce, the Court may grant alimony to either spouse.
How is Alimony Calculated?
The truth is alimony in the State of Florida is a huge gray area, and it provides the Court with a great deal of discretion regarding how much alimony will be granted or awarded, for how long it will be awarded, and the type of alimony that will be awarded.
The Type of Marriage
One primary factor that goes into determining alimony is the type of marriage.
When it comes down to dealing with money in a divorce, there are three types of marriages:
1) short term marriage – 7 years or less
2) medium-term marriage – 17 years or less
3) long term marriage – 17+ years
Therefore, the overall need versus the ability to pay are the biggest factors that determine how much alimony will be awarded, if it will be awarded, and how much. This is why the length of the marriage is important in a divorce or alimony case. The longer one partner remains in the marriage and the difficulty it will be for him or her to get back on their feet will determine alimony.
During the divorce process, the financial affidavit and mandatory disclosures are used for various reasons, but one of them is alimony specifically. The financial affidavit is a sworn document. Therefore, it’s important for the financial affidavit to be accurate and to ensure that spouses aren’t under-reporting income or exaggerating debts.
Forensic accountants actually can be very important and helpful resources for determining if alimony is awarded and who pays it. A highly-skilled and talented forensic accountant can actually provide an accurate representation of a spouse’s finances. In fact, forensic accountants are actually considered expert witnesses by the Court.
For example, a forensic accountant can help ensure that all cash and assets are accounted for, for the spouse on the non-paying side.
How Travis Walker Law Can Help
Regardless of whether you are seeking alimony, or dealing with a divorce case that involves alimony, the team at Travis Walker Law can help.