On behalf of North Tampa Legal Group on Friday, August 3, 2018.
While many states have abandoned permanent alimony, Florida is not one of them. Here, there is still a belief that it is a necessity in some divorce cases — but not all. If you are preparing to go through the divorce process, you may have some questions about permanent alimony, such as: Who can get it, is it really permanent, and is it ever adjustable?
This type of spousal support is really for individuals who have been in long-term marriages. There are a number of factors that the court will look at before deciding if permanent alimony makes sense and how much the receiving spouse should get.
The first factor a judge will look at before approving permanent alimony is the length of the marriage. A judge will not grant it in divorce cases where the marriage lasted less than 17 years. After determining that a couple met the marriage duration requirement, the court will look at:
- The marital standard of living
- The income levels of both spouses
- The ages of both parties
- The education levels of both spouses
- The physical and emotional health of each party
- Each spouse’s marital role
If awarded, the spouse ordered to pay support may offer the receiving spouse one lump sum, or he or she may pay the ordered amount in installments — usually monthly. A permanent alimony order will remain active until the receiving party passes away, gets remarried or a judge cancels the order.
Is the support amount adjustable?
It is possible to adjust any alimony order if the change is necessary and appropriate. In order to achieve a modification, you must file the correct motion in court. You may have to attend a hearing to address the matter. Whether the judge grants a modification really depends on your need for the adjustment. The most common reason to seek an alimony modification is a change in financial circumstances.
If you have any other questions about permanent alimony or have any other concerns about your upcoming divorce, it is okay to seek counsel from an experienced family law attorney. With legal counsel in your corner, you can fight for a divorce settlement that is fair and balanced. If a judge grants permanent alimony in your case, and down the line you feel you need an order modification — regardless if you are the payer or payee, assistance can be provided in seeking that adjustment.