20 Jun 4 Common Misconceptions About Alimony in Florida
Divorce has been a common occurrence in the American culture for many years. Even though many people get divorced in the state of Florida every year, there are still many misconceptions about what happens after a divorce. One of the most misunderstood aspects of divorce is the payment of alimony to a former spouse. Following are four common misconceptions about alimony in the state of Florida.
Men Always Pay Alimony
This misconception likely took root in the mid-twentieth century when family dynamics were quite different. In that era, divorce was uncommon, but when it did happen, men paid alimony to their wives who had always been stay-at-home moms and housewives. A vast majority of the time, women needed alimony payments because they had never worked outside of the home and had no transferable skills. Alimony payments by the man were essential for the ex-wife’s survival. However, these days are different. It is common for women in relationships to make more money than their husbands. Alimony has always been and remains to be assistance for the ex-spouse who makes less money, when the other spouse has the ability to pay. It is meant to help with the transition from married to single life or to allow the person with a lesser income to continue living in a manner to which he or she had become accustomed to during the marriage.
Alimony Is Awarded in Every Divorce Case
Many people who are going through a divorce believe that the “winner” is automatically awarded alimony, and the “loser” is the ex-spouse who must pay it. There are no “winners” and “losers” in a divorce case, and alimony should not be viewed by either party as a prize or a punishment. Instead, alimony payments are assigned by a judge to help one of the parties involved in the divorce to adjust to unmarried life and survive without the added income of the spouse who made more money. However, if both parties are able to survive comfortably without the added assistance of alimony payments, then these payments will not be written into the final divorce agreement. These days it is more common for there to be no alimony granted to either party since many of the couples in today’s society have dual incomes, and no monetary help is needed for adjusting to single life.
Alimony Lasts Forever
This fallacy has old roots. For someone receiving alimony, it is easy to believe that the payments will go on forever. However, alimony lasts forever in only a few special cases. The vast majority of the time, alimony is awarded on a temporary or short-term basis. Often alimony payments last only as long as it takes for the payee to find gainful employment. Situational alimony can also be awarded for a set period of time. Rather than being a crutch that will be relied on indefinitely, alimony should be seen as a bridge that helps an individual get over a gap that exists between two points. The transition from married life to single life can be complicated and is sometimes fraught with problems. Alimony payments can help get the payee through these tough times until he or she can stand alone.
A New Spouse’s Income Will Increase Required Alimony Payments
The Florida court system cannot count the income of a new spouse when considering and calculating alimony payments. When an affidavit is filed for alimony modification, it may only show the income of the party who was involved in the divorce. The new spouse never has a financial obligation to the former spouse.
It is important for any couple engaging in a dissolution of marriage that involves alimony payments to be aware of both the facts and misconceptions regarding alimony or spousal support. Being armed with as much relevant and factual information as possible is everyone’s best way to be protected and treated fairly. Divorce law and alimony payments can be complicated topics, it is always best to consult with a qualified and reputable Florida family law attorney before you take any legal actions.