Alimony and Spousal Support Attorneys in Lakeland & Sebring, FL

Florida divorce lawyers discuss alimony and how courts divide marital assets

Sessums Law Group, P.A. stands by you during your emotionally charged divorce proceedings. We listen carefully and consider all the circumstances of your case. We partner with you to plot a course of action to pursue the best outcome for you. With more than 30 years’ combined experience, we understand the local court systems and each judge’s tendencies related to property divisions and alimony determinations. Each step of the way, Sessums Law Group stands for you.

How much is alimony in Florida?

Unlike child support, there are no charts or formulas to rely on for an alimony amount in Florida. The amount of spousal support, if any, is up to the discretion of the judge. To help ensure a fair result, experienced divorce lawyers often argue the details of each party’s anticipated post-divorce budget in support of or against an alimony award.

What types of alimony are available?

Alimony can be awarded in a variety of forms, including:

  • Periodic alimony — Periodic alimony is paid to the recipient on a regular basis. It may be limited or unlimited in potential duration.
  • Temporary alimony — Temporary alimony is a form of periodic alimony that is finite in duration, although the termination date may be unknown. For example, courts sometimes award temporary alimony during the pendency of divorce proceedings.
  • Lump-sum alimony — Sometimes referred to as alimony in gross, this type of alimony may be paid all at once or in relatively few installments. Lump-sum alimony may be attractive to the payer because it is definite, rather than open-ended.
  • Rehabilitative alimony — This type of alimony is usually awarded to help support a recipient while the recipient seeks new training or education, or when the recipient seeks to re-enter the workforce after a long absence. Rehabilitative alimony is usually specifically limited in duration.

What factors are considered in an alimony decision?

Either party may request and be granted alimony, regardless of gender. In addition to weighing the fault of the parties leading up to the divorce, a court also considers the following factors in determining alimony:

  • Financial condition and needs of the recipient spouse
  • Earning capacity or income potential of both parties
  • Ability of the paying spouse to pay
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Whether the recipient spouse has custody of minor children requiring support
  • Whether the recipient spouse worked in a business owned or operated by the payer spouse
  • Whether the spouse seeking alimony contributed to the earning capacity of the paying spouse

How long can alimony last?

Alimony may be ordered on a temporary basis pending trial, or for a period after entry of the final decree. If alimony is ordered, the remarriage or death of the recipient ends the payer’s responsibility to pay. Additionally, alimony may be stopped if the payer can prove to the court the recipient is cohabitating with another person. Sessums Law Group, P.A. can assist you when you need to pursue a modification or enforcement proceeding.

Another basis for stopping spousal support is a material change in circumstances. For instance, if a payer lost their job, or if the recipient got a significant increase in income or resources, either party can prepare and file paperwork asking the court to modify alimony payments.

How do courts divide assets in Florida?

The general rule of thumb for property divisions in Florida is equity. It is important to remember that equitable does not necessarily mean equal. Factors courts consider when dividing assets include:

  • Length of marriage
  • Age and health of the spouses
  • Occupations of the spouses
  • Income and earning potential of the spouses
  • Fault leading to the breakdown of the marriage

Contact a Lakeland and Sebring family law attorney for a consultation

Sessums Law Group, P.A. represents clients in spousal support issues in and around Lakeland and Sebring. We are ready to partner with you to develop a winning strategy. Call our Lakeland office at 877-826-5630, our Sebring office at 863-658-4796 or contact us online to arrange an appointment. At Sessums Law Group, P.A., we stand for you!