Frequently Asked Questions About Alimony In Florida
Many people pursue alimony during the divorce process, but this is one term that is highly misunderstood. Not everyone is eligible to receive alimony, and it is not uncommon for people to become concerned about whether they will have to pay it and if so, the amount the court will order. Below, our Brandon alimony attorney outlines the questions that are most frequently asked about this term of divorce, and the legal answers to them.
Am I Responsible for Paying Alimony if I had an Affair?
Many people think that if they had an extramarital affair, they will lose everything and have to pay alimony. Fortunately, this is not true. Alimony is not intended to punish the spouse who is ordered to pay it. It is meant to help a lower-earning spouse support themselves during or after the divorce process. Still, if the marriage broke down due to wrongdoing, such as an affair or one party’s substance abuse problem, alimony may be ordered if the misconduct involved a waste of marital funds.
Is the Length of My Marriage Considered During Alimony Proceedings?
The alimony guidelines do consider the length of a marriage when determining if either party is entitled to spousal support. When a marriage lasts fewer than seven years, alimony is not usually awarded. There is an exception made when there are extenuating circumstances. Moderate marriages, which are defined as seven years or more, and long marriages, which are classified as 17 years or more, often include long-term alimony being awarded to one party.
Is it Possible to Modify Alimony?
Either the payer or recipient of alimony can petition the court for a modification if there has been a substantial change of circumstances. A substantial change of circumstances can include a significant change in income, death, or remarriage. Neither party should change the terms of alimony without first obtaining the approval of the court. Refusing to pay alimony without obtaining proper permission will result in harsh consequences, including being held in contempt of court.
What are My Options if My Former Spouse Refuses to Pay Alimony?
If your former spouse refuses to pay alimony, and they have not obtained a modification from the court, there are steps you can take to enforce the order. You can file a petition with the court and a family law judge will decide how to enforce the original order. For example, wage garnishments are one of the most common ways alimony orders are enforced. Through a wage garnishment, a percentage of the payer’s wages are withheld from their paycheck and redirected to you, so they have no choice but to make the payments.
Our Alimony Attorney in Brandon Can Answer Your Questions
If you are pursuing alimony or need to modify or enforce an order, you likely have a lot of questions. At Koether Law, P.A., our Brandon alimony attorney can answer them and help you through the process so you have the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us now at 813-347-8193 or reach out to us online to schedule a meeting with our skilled attorney and to learn more about how we can help.