Alimony Lawyer in Palm Coast
One of the biggest concerns clients have in a Divorce is the potential entitlement to, or liability for, alimony. Alimony in Florida comes in many forms, none of which are mutually exclusive. Under Florida Law, each available form of alimony has its own purpose, and its own criteria for entitlement. Attorney Gerard V. Muriello can define these for you. Alimony may be short or long term in duration, or even in a lump sum. The length of your marriage is often the most critical factor with respect to an entitlement to alimony. However, even in the longest of marriages, alimony is never guaranteed.
Need Versus Ability to Pay
Ultimately, regardless of a legal presumption in favor of an award of alimony, the court must make an analysis of one spouse’s need for versus the other spouse’s ability to pay alimony. The spouse seeking an award of alimony must first establish their actual need – net monthly income minus average reasonable monthly expenses. If there is a deficit (“need”), it is then on the seeking spouse to show the other has the ability to pay - to meet all or part of that need.
The same calculation is made for the other spouse: monthly net income minus average reasonable monthly living expenses. If there is a net surplus the court may consider granting an award of alimony. Other factors, such as the total financial positions of the parties after Equitable Distribution is completed, may be taken into consideration.
No matter how great the one spouse’s need may be, you “can’t get blood from a stone”. Alimony is not meant to “equalize” incomes, and the paying spouse cannot be “put in the poor house” to support the other. An award of alimony can and will impact Child Support calculations, and it is also a taxable event to the receiving spouse. Gerard V. Muriello, Esquire, can perform a preliminary analysis for you at an initial consultation so you know what to expect going forward.
FREE CONSULTATION / Palm Coast Alimony Law
To discuss what forms of alimony may be available to you, or you may be liable for, in a Divorce proceeding in Palm Coast, Florida, call 386-872-4909 or fill out our contact form today.