Why Alimony in Florida Is Like the Lottery
There are some slightly more unique laws governing alimony in Florida. While one spouse can still seek alimony from the other (as in other states), divorcing Floridians can seek long term and permanent alimony payments. Other special alimony laws relate to lump sum payments and rehabilitative payments. Then there is the factor of what the judge deems fit, so that the alimony awarded (when it is awarded) is a lot like winning the lottery. Here are some more reasons why Floridian alimony payments are like the state lottery.
Permanent Alimony Payments
In many ways, the permanent alimony is just like the lottery; you do not have a chance at acquiring it until you are very old, you have to "pay to play" for a long time before you can get it, and you get a taxed percentage when it is awarded to you. You do have to remain with your spouse for at least thirty years before divorcing and requesting this payment. That means that it is rarely awarded, and divorcing couples are often way past retirement age when they become eligible.
Lump Sum Alimony Payments
Lump sum alimony payments are also awarded in Florida. The judge may require a certain number of years of marriage, and/or extenuating circumstances. The extenuating circumstances often include full disability and long-term care for one spouse when the other spouse is the cause of that disability. The down side is that you will have to make this lump payment of alimony last until your death.
Concern over loss of employment or income on the payer's part might also result in an immediate lump sum ruling so that the payee/recipient gets all of the alimony that is due to him/her. If you are the payee, this is like winning the lottery because you get a giant lump of cash all at once and nothing more thereafter. If you are the payer, it is a financial nightmare.
Altering the Alimony "Lottery" in Your Favor
If you want to avoid paying your ex any alimony or avoid paying permanent alimony or lump sum alimony, you will need a divorce lawyer like those at Hackworth Law to work out a reasonable plan. It is almost always the person with the higher income that pays the other spouse. If this is you, you and your lawyer should use an "alimony calculator" to predict what the judge might decide is fair, and then offer your ex just slightly less than that amount per month. If you can get your ex to agree to and sign for the lesser amount before going to court, the judge will honor it.