Fort Lauderdale Alimony and Asset Division Attorney

Fort Lauderdale Alimony and Asset Division Attorney

Fort Lauderdale Alimony and Asset Division Attorney

Remain Financially Stable After a Divorce


Speak with a knowledgeable alimony attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Wondering how you can secure what’s yours during a divorce? Generally speaking, any assets and debt acquired during your marriage will be equally divided. However, divorce is rarely that simple. When disputes arise over who is entitled to the larger share, it’s important to retain an alimony and property division lawyer right away.

Attorney Levine, of Scott A. Levine, P.A., has over 20 years of experience as a top alimony attorney in the Fort Lauderdale, FL area. If you require additional financial support to maintain your life after divorce, your alimony attorney will help get you fair payments.

Call 954-587-2244 today to receive a complimentary 30-minute consultation.

Leave nothing unexamined

The accumulation of your assets and property are far more involved than you might think. Your property division lawyer will need to address complex issues involving your:

  • Home and its furnishings
  • Retirement accounts (pension plans, 401Ks and IRAs)
  • Stock accounts
  • Family business shares
  • Mortgages, car loans and credit bills

Don’t settle for the short end of the stick. Scott Levine has over 20 years of experience representing clients in contested divorce cases. Reach out today to make an appointment.

Alimony – Remain Financially Stable After a Divorce

Alimony (spousal support or maintenance) is the money you pay to your ex-spouse to help them maintain the living standard they enjoyed during the marriage.

The purpose of alimony is to maintain financial stability after a divorce, minimizing the disparity between spouses.

When determining the amount of alimony, Florida courts consider various factors. However, the key is the earning ability of one spouse and the other spouse’s need for financial support.

Alimony - Remain Financially Stable After a Divorce

Under Florida law, there are five types of alimony: temporary alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony, and permanent alimony.

  • Temporary alimony

Florida courts award temporary alimony during the divorce process. It lasts until the court issues the final judgment. The goal of provisional maintenance is to provide financial support for a lower-income spouse during court proceedings.

  • Bridge-the-gap alimony

Bridge-the-gap alimony is similar to temporary maintenance. It is limited and transitional, meaning its purpose is to help the spouse in need bridge the gap between marital and single life. When determining the amount of bridge-the-gap alimony, a judge looks at foreseeable costs of living as a single (bills, rent, etc.), comparing them to the lifestyle the spouse receiving the alimony maintained during the marriage.

  • Rehabilitative alimony

Divorce can strongly impact the spouse who was unemployed during the marriage. As single, they need to start a new life finding appropriate employment to support themselves. Helping them seek a job or participate in educational programs, the court may award rehabilitative alimony. That is the money necessary to assist the receiving party standing on their feet. However, awarding rehabilitative alimony is strictly limited to its purpose. The court determines the amount of spousal support, considering specific plans and employment training programs.

  • Durational alimony

Durational alimony is a financial support courts award to a lower-income spouse when no other types of alimony are suitable given the specific circumstances. It is appropriate in short-term and middle-term marriages. As the name suggests, its duration is limited and cannot exceed the length of the matrimony. For example, in marriages shorter than three years, the durational alimony cannot exceed that period.

  • Permanent alimony

Permanent alimony is typical for long-term marriages. It applies to spouses unable to reach the living standard they maintained during the marriage, regardless of employment and other educational programs. Unlike others, permanent alimony is not limited – it continues after the death or remarriage.

Depending on the circumstances, a judge can award a type of alimony or a combination of two or more categories of spousal support. The payment can be monthly or as a lump sum.

Do You Have to Pay Alimony?

To answer this question, courts in Florida consider several factors. They apply the so-called two-part test. First, a judge determines whether the spouse seeking alimony needs financial support. If the requesting party is in financial need, the court then considers whether the other spouse can pay the alimony. In addition to that, judges look at other factors too. For example, the length of the marriage, earning ability, health, and contributions each spouse made during the marriage are decisive.

One of the most common questions is: do you have to pay alimony if the other spouse engaged in adultery? Since Florida is a no-fault state, divorce does not involve proving reasons for divorce, including adultery. That means that a judge can award alimony even in case of adultery. However, the exception is when the party requesting maintenance used marital assets to support an extramarital relationship. In that case, the judge may consider it a waste of marital property, declining to award alimony.

Modifying Alimony in Florida

Modifying Alimony in Florida

Any spouse can file a petition to modify alimony in case of unexpected and substantial change in circumstances. For example, the spouse paying the alimony can request its modification if they lose employment or their health deteriorates.

Marital Property Division

In Florida, marital property is property acquired during the marriage. Unlike marital property, which is subject to division, non-marital property is property each spouse owned before marriage. Florida is an equitable distribution state (Section 61.075 of the 2021 Florida Statutes), meaning that in distributing marital assets and liabilities, the court must begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal unless an unequal distribution is justified.

The factors justifying an unequal distribution of marital assets include:

  • The contribution to the marriage by each spouse

There are many ways spouses can contribute to the marriage. Earning money and providing financial support for the family is not the only thing that counts. Many parents (husbands or wives) stay home and care for children. The court cannot overlook their contribution when considering marital property division. Without their support, the other spouse would most likely not have been able to earn an income outside the home.

  • The economic circumstances of the parties

Depending on their employment status during the marriage, spouses can find themselves without enough means to support their living standard after the divorce. The court must consider the different economic circumstances of the parties when deciding whether an unequal distribution of marital assets is justified.

  • The duration of the marriage

The length of marriage plays a decisive role in considering an unequal distribution. In long-term marriages, there is little or no justification to distribute marital assets unequally (unless other circumstances justify it). On the other hand, spouses in short-term marriages lack the economic, emotional, and social bonds typical for older couples. In most such cases, an unequal division of marital assets is justifiable.

  • Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities

Some spouses sacrifice a lot in marriage. They give up their career or educational opportunities to make the marriage work. For example, if working or studying in a remote city requires separation from their family, they leave university or quit their job to avoid living separately from their spouses and children.

  • The contribution to the personal career or educational opportunity

On the other hand, some spouses are willing to take extra burdens (staying at home with children, additional jobs) to contribute to their spouses’ career advancement or educational opportunities.

  • The desirability of retaining any asset (an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice)

Often, one of the spouses develops professional practice or business enterprise during the marriage. Instead of dividing marital assets equally, the court can allow them to retain such property if they would otherwise suffer irreparable damage or lose business opportunities.

  • The desirability of retaining the marital home

In addition to terminating the marriage and dividing marital assets during the divorce, the court decides which spouse will get child custody. The custodial parent has to take care of the children and their well-being. Among other things, they need to provide appropriate living accommodations. The most desirable scenario is for children to continue living in the family home, which is why courts usually award the marital home to the custodial parent when deciding on marital property division.

  • The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets

Engaging in criminal activities, substance abuse, or other irresponsible behavior affects marital property, leading to its dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction. In such cases, the judge can consider unequal distribution in favor of an innocent spouse justifiable.

Leave Nothing Unexamined

The accumulation of your assets is far more involved than you might think. Your property division lawyer will need to address complex issues involving your:

  • Home and its furnishings
  • Retirement accounts (pension plans, 401Ks, and IRAs)
  • Stock accounts
  • Family business shares
  • Mortgages, car loans, and credit bills

Do not settle for the short end of the stick. Scott Levine has over 20 years of experience representing clients in contested divorce cases. Reach out today to make an appointment.

Speak With a Knowledgeable Alimony Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Are you wondering how you can secure what’s yours during a divorce? Generally, any assets and debt acquired during the marriage will be equally divided. However, divorce is rarely that simple. When disputes arise over who is entitled to the larger share, it is vital to retain an alimony and property division lawyer without delay.

Attorney Scott A. Levine, P.A., has over 20 years of experience as a top alimony attorney in the Fort Lauderdale, FL area. If you require additional financial support to maintain your life after divorce, your alimony attorney will help get you fair payments.

Call 954-587-2244 today to receive a complimentary 30-minute consultation.

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