Articles Tagged with alimony

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Usually, the court will impute an income to the non-working spouse. This means that in cases where child support, alimony, and equitable distribution of assets and debts are at issue, the court will decide a wage that should be attributed to the non-working spouse. This imputed income amount will serve as the amount the spouse should be making if they were working, and most calculations throughout the case will be made using this imputed income.

As a matter of law, trial courts should consider the non-working spouse’s work history, occupational qualifications, and the prevailing earnings in the community for that class of available jobs when finding an amount of imputed income. Evidence may be presented that the non-working spouse had earned the same amount prior to quitting a previous job, that the non-working spouse is capable of working, and that the non-working spouse has options to do so.

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Pursuant to Florida statutes, alimony may be awarded when one spouse has a need for financial assistance and the other spouse has the ability to pay. If a court awards alimony, then the obligor may later seek to modify or terminate the alimony obligation if there is a substantial change in circumstances or if the obligee has entered into a supportive relationship. Pursuant to Florida statutes, the court has discretion to reduce or terminate an award of alimony if the court finds that since the granting of the divorce decree, a supportive relationship has existed between the obligee and a person with whom the obligee resides (“cohabitant”).

The burden is on the obligor to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a supportive relationship exists. In a recent case, Gregory v. Gregory, 39 Fla. Weekly D1A (Fla. 5th DCA 2014), the 5th DCA held that once the court finds that a supportive relationship exists, the burden of proof shifts to the obligee to prove that he or she has a continued need for the financial support. In that case, the Husband sought to reduce or terminate his alimony obligation based on the wife’s supportive relationship. Ultimately, the court held that the wife was living in a supportive relationship and she failed to prove that she had the continued need for alimony.

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There are several different types of alimony within Florida Law including permanent periodic alimony, rehabilitative alimony, bridge the gap alimony, and durational alimony.

Durational alimony is alimony for a set period of time.

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In Florida Family Law Cases we always file a Family Law Financial Affidavit (for the short form affidavit: http://www.flcourts.org/core/fileparse.php/293/urlt/902b.pdf and for the long form affidavit: http://www.flcourts.org/core/fileparse.php/293/urlt/902c.pdf). These affidavits are very useful in determining the marital estate to be divided in equitable distribution and for determining the need and ability to pay for alimony purposes.

Florida Family Law Financial Affidavits are very important and should be taken very seriously by the parties. In one recent Second District Court of Appeal case the Appellate Court relied on the Husband’s financial affidavit in reversing the trial Court’s approval of alimony.

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