Fierce Battle Over Alimony in Florida
A divorce involves numerous aspects, including property division, child support and child custody. However, nothing can make a divorce acrimonious quite like the mention of alimony. When a couple divorces, they likely want to be rid of each other as quickly as possible. However, paying someone monthly payments for many years keeps the ex-spouse in the person’s life. It’s hard to move on when you have to budget alimony into your monthly expenses.
On top of that, alimony is no longer tax-deductible, so there is no benefit to the payor. All it does is cause more acrimony in a tense divorce. Judges spend their time dealing with disputes relating to alimony as payors refuse to pay on time and decide to rant on Facebook and other social media sites. Hearings can go on for years, until there is no money left.
However, alimony in Florida is very liberal. There are five main types of alimony and they can range from temporary to permanent. Florida’s laws, however, are antiquated. Alimony has hung on as a way to compensate a spouse—typically a woman—who foregoes a career to stay home with the children. This is because the stay-at-home spouse is losing out on their earning potential.
There’s no denying that the state’s alimony laws are in dire need of reform. But until then, those who get divorced in the Sunshine State can expect to see alimony included in their divorce decree, unless both parties earn roughly the same amount of money.
Settlements are easier to come by when there isn’t much money involved. In fact, 95% of these cases settle. The other 5% involve high asset divorces with millions of dollars at stake. Many awards are based on one’s ability to pay, so more income equals higher alimony awards. That means that in these cases, monthly alimony payments of $10,000 or even $20,000 are the norm. But sometimes even that is not enough. The recipient, used to a lavish lifestyle, may continue to fight for more money, dragging on a case for years. In addition, these are not temporary awards. A person may be required to pay five-figure amounts for many years, even into retirement.
In many cases, the recipient ends up wealthier than the payor. Because there is often no end to these extravagant alimony payments, the payors are forced to delay retirement. They may have to downsize their home and sell their possessions to make payments. While they can file for an alimony modification, these are often unsuccessful. Instead, the payor is out thousands of dollars in court costs. Their only hope is that the recipient remarries or dies.
Seek Legal Help
Alimony is probably the most contentious issue a divorcing couple can face. No former spouse wants to keep giving money to their ex-wife or husband, especially for decades or even the rest of their lives.
If you’re seeking or opposing an alimony award, contact Fort Lauderdale alimony attorney Edward J. Jennings, P.A. He can help represent your interests in court. Schedule a consultation by calling 954-764-4330 or filling out the online form.