An Experienced and Practical Attorney Helping You Move Forward Post-Divorce
You may naturally be concerned about your financial situation following divorce. After all, you must adjust to a different standard of living and may or may not be required to financially support your ex-partner. Whether you seek to petition for alimony or anticipate being the paying spouse, our firm can represent you in the negotiations at mediation and the courtroom. With 31 years of legal experience, Attorney John D. Mills, P.A. knows how to strategize an effective case based on your specific circumstances.
Contact the Law Office of John D. Mills, P.A. at (239) 347-9932 to discuss your alimony concerns in more detail.
Florida provides 5 different types of alimony – temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent – decided either mutually by the couple or by a judge. Temporary support is financial support that lasts only through the divorce proceedings. Its purpose is mainly to help the lower-earning spouse remain financially stable during the divorce process, and it terminates when the judge finalizes the divorce.
Bridge-the-gap alimony aims to help the recipient spouse meet short-term needs while transitioning to their new post-divorce life. For example, such an alimony order may require the paying spouse to pay utility bills while the recipient spouse waits for the marital home to sell or to meet other living expenses while attempting to find full-time work. Bridge-the-gap support can last up to 2 years and terminates if the paying spouse dies or the supported spouse remarries.
Rehabilitative support, the most common type of alimony in Florida, is ordered in cases where one spouse can become self-supporting but needs time and financial assistance to redevelop skills or acquire education, training, or work experience necessary to develop these skills to enter the workforce. This kind of support ends once the supported spouse becomes self-supporting (such as if they get a job).
Durational support, similar to rehabilitative support, is appropriate in cases where the supported spouse needs financial assistance for a certain duration after the divorce. Durational support may not last longer than the length of the marriage, though.
Permanent alimony is rarely granted and usually reserved for spouses who need financial assistance and are unable to become self-supporting in the future, either due to disability, advanced age, or obligation to care for a minor child with special needs. Permanent alimony lasts indefinitely, or until the paying spouse dies or the supported spouse remarries.
Factors for Determining Alimony
Either spouse can request alimony, and the court will make the final decision regarding who may receive support and what type. To make this decision, the court will consider the following factors:
- the standard of living established during the marriage;
- the length of the marriage;
- each spouse's age and physical and emotional health;
- both spouse's financial resources, including the nonmarital and marital property, assets, and liabilities;
- each spouse's earning capacity, educational level, vocational skills, and employability and, if applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to find employment;
- both spouse's contributions to the marriage, including homemaking, childcare, education, and supporting the other spouse’s career;
- whether either spouse will have parental responsibilities to minor children;
- tax consequences, if any;
- all sources of income to both spouses, including income available through investments; and
- any other relevant factors.
Note that if a spouse cites a fault-based ground for their divorce, such as adultery, the court may also take this into consideration to calculate alimony.
Modifying an Order
If there has been a significant change in circumstances since the support order was last issued, a spouse can request a modification of the terms. However, note that bridge-the-gap alimony may not be modified, and durational support can only be modified in relation to the amount and not the duration.
John D. MillsAttorneyI'm John D. Mills, and I am dedicated to aggressively pursuing the best possible outcome for my clients - inside and outside of court.
Monica S. AdkinsLegal AssistantMonica Skinner Adkins is a 5th generation Lee County residence. She was born and raised in Fort Myers and graduated from North Fort Myers High School and attended Edison Community College for two years.
Sheryl A. RiebenackParalegalSheryl A. Riebenack, a Florida Registered Paralegal, has worked with the firm since 2010. She has over 40 years of experience in marital & family law. She serves our clients with compassion and respect.
If you have questions about negotiating alimony or modifying an existing order, reach out to our team at the Law Office of John D. Mills, P.A. for legal guidance. We can help examine your circumstances and help you build a strong case in your alimony discussion, whether you anticipate being the supporting spouse or the receiving spouse.
Contact us at (239) 347-9932 to learn more in an initial consultation today.
We can effectively defend your rights and fight for your best interests at each stage of the legal process.