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Alimony or Spousal Support Alimony

The issue of spousal support, or alimony, is a difficult subject in many divorce cases.  Alimony creates a debtor/creditor relationship between you and your spouse and leaves a lasting connection between the both of you until the obligation for alimony ends. 

There are several types of alimony: temporary (during the divorce case), rehabilitative (to enable a party to become retrained, educated, and self-sufficient), durational, bride-the-gap, permanent, and lump sum.  A party may be entitled to a combination of these types of alimony, depending upon one party's need for alimony and the other party's ability to pay alimony, the length of your marriage and several other factors.

Many times, we must take an in depth look into the parties' actual income and available assets, the marital standard of living, and other complex issues.  We will work with a forensic accountant, if necessary; to help us get the most detailed information needed to address the issue of alimony through mediation or litigation.

If you and your spouse have children, child support must be paid.  In Florida, the general rule is that both parents share an equal duty to support their children.  The first step in determining child support is for both parties to file a financial affidavit showing their income and expenses.  Thereafter, the parties may be able to agree amongst themselves on each party's child support obligation, or the court, using the Child Support Guidelines Statute, will determine the amount of support for which each party is responsible. 

In the event you are awarded alimony or you receive or pay child support there may come a time when your former spouse fails to make his or her alimony and/or child support payment in full or fails to makes those payments at all.  In that situation you may need to seek enforcement through the court.  If the court finds that your former spouse's non-payment of alimony and/or child support is willful and that he or she has the ability to pay, the court will order him or her to abide by the alimony and/or child support term of your Final Judgment or Marital Settlement Agreement and may result in a contempt order against him or her.  

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