Florida has one of the highest divorce rates in the Country. Statista.com estimates that in 2019, there were 3.5 divorces per thousand people in Florida. In Florida, the guiding principle in the award of alimony is based on the existing disparity in the two parties’ monetary resources. The court also must consider one spouse’s need for permanent alimony vs. the other spouse’s ability to pay.
Undoubtedly, alimony is one of the most detested and fought over subjects in Florida divorce courts, and for a good reason. Alimony can lead to severe financial strain, especially if you have only one source of income. In these cases, a divorce attorney can help you understand the best ways to approach an alimony case.
Prove Your Spouse Was Adulterous
One way to win an alimony case in Florida is to prove your spouse was unfaithful. Many states, including Florida, don’t allow unfaithful spouses to vie for alimony payments. However, you will need more than word of mouth to prove your allegations. Prepare to win your alimony case by collecting relevant photos, videos, witness statements, and other incriminating evidence proving your spouse has been having extramarital affairs.
End the Marriage
Another strategy that could save you from expensive alimony during a divorce process is to terminate your marriage ASAP. Ideally, most states determine the amount of money you will pay based on the length of your marriage. The longer you stay in the marriage, the higher the amount of alimony you are likely to pay. When you know your marriage won’t survive the long haul, end it as quickly as you can.
Prove Your Spouse Doesn’t Need Alimony.
There are times when a vindictive spouse seeks alimony even when they don’t need the money to maintain their standard of living. If you suspect your spouse is just seeking alimony to punish you, consider investigating their financial standing to prove to the court that they don’t need the alimony money. Hire a professional forensic investigator to track your spouse’s assets such as stock portfolio, trust funds, savings, or inheritance money and document evidence that proves they don’t need alimony money.
Fight for Custody
In Florida, your spouse may not receive alimony if they don’t have sole custody of the children. If you have full or partial custody of your kids, it means you will have significantly higher financial obligations to support your offspring properly. This situation may help reduce the money needed for your spouse to maintain their standard of living. In a nutshell, when you are the sole caregiver for your children, your ex will not need additional money, which means you can decrease the amount of alimony you can legally provide. In some scenarios, the court may even order your spouse to make child support payments to help take care of the costs related to caring for and raising young children.
Include a Termination Date to Alimony Payments
If you are concerned, your ex will take unfair advantage of your payments, consider having a termination date in your divorce agreement or decree. Ideally, alimony doesn’t have to be a lifetime undertaking, and adding a termination date can help save you from unnecessary financial burden. In most states, the end dates for short marriages are typically one-half of the length of the union.
However, it can be challenging to predict the end dates for longer marriages. If you are considering this option, speak with a divorce attorney to help you figure out the exact end date for your situation, considering the duration and specific circumstances surrounding your marriage.
In a nutshell, if you must go through a divorce, consider taking the necessary steps to protect your wallet. Whether your goal is to pay something reasonable and fair or not pay any alimony at all, consider working with an experienced Florida divorce attorney. They can advise on the best available options for you.