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Alimony Questions? We Can Help

Jacksonville Spousal Support Attorneys

By Your Side When You Need Us Most

The dissolution of a marriage can wreak havoc on the personal finances of the parties involved. Even if the divorce is amicable, that doesn't mean both spouses are prepared to meet the monetary challenges that come with a new life.

In situations where one spouse has become dependent on the other during the course of the marriage, he or she may be entitled to spousal support. At Owenby Law, our Jacksonville alimony lawyers represent clients who are seeking alimony as part of their divorce settlement, as well as those being asked to pay.

While the Florida courts do not always award spousal support, there are several types of alimony that are often granted to financially dependent spouses. Either spouse may be required to pay alimony – gender is not an issue. If you believe that you are entitled to spousal support, we can help you pursue your claim.

If you or your spouse is in the military, the circumstances may be different than what is mentioned below. However, the attorneys at Owenby Law, P.A. have experience handling cases involving military divorce as well.

If you have questions about alimony in your divorce, call Owenby Law, P.A. today for a free consultation.

How the Courts Make Decisions About Alimony

In Florida, family law judges are asked to consider several different factors when deciding whether or not alimony should be included in a divorce settlement. If spousal support is deemed to be appropriate, they will also need to decide what type of support to award, how much, and how long it should last.

When making a decision on the matter of alimony, the court will consider several different factors:

  • The standard of living that was developed during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage and the age of each spouse
  • The financial resources of the spouse seeking support
  • The mental, physical, and emotional condition of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, including homemaking
  • The responsibilities each spouse will have for minor children
  • Any tax consequences a spousal support award could have
  • Required time for the recipient to secure additional education

Types of Spousal Support in Florida

  • Rehabilitative alimony – The purpose of rehabilitative spousal support is to give a dependent spouse the resources necessary to develop skills and training that will make him or her financially independent. This could be by returning to college or vocational school, or obtaining a license. This is usually accompanied by a plan for the recipient to achieve financial independence.
  • Bridge-the-gap alimony – This type of spousal support provides the recipient with immediate funds to acclimate to his or her new life after divorce. Bridge-the-gap alimony can either be awarded on a temporary basis, as to allow the dependent spouse to do things like secure an apartment or a car, or it can be paid in one lump sum. However, the duration cannot exceed two years.
  • Durational alimony – Durational alimony is temporary spousal support that does not fall into the category of either rehabilitative or bridge-the-gap alimony. The court may choose to award durational alimony if other types of support are insufficient to meet the dependent spouse’s needs. Because it is temporary, the maximum duration cannot exceed the actual length of the marriage.
  • Permanent alimony – Permanent alimony is support that is paid on a regular basis for an indefinite period of time. This type of alimony usually terminates upon the death of either spouse, or upon the remarriage or cohabitation (living with someone else) of the recipient. It is intended to provide for the financial needs of a spouse who lacks the ability to support themselves.

Common Misconceptions About Alimony

Alimony is awarded on a case by case basis and takes into account many factors, including the length of the marriage, education of the parties, educational sacrifices of the parties, and age/employability of the parties. There are some common misconceptions regarding alimony however, including the following:

  • Men always pay alimony. While often in the past the husband has been the party required to pay alimony, this is not always the case anymore, as more and more women become the primary breadwinners. The purpose of alimony is to assist one party in transitioning from married to single life or to allow one party to continue to sustain themselves after the marriage has ended.
  • Alimony is awarded in every case. A common misconception regarding alimony is that it is awarded often, when this is simply not the case. Now, it is more common to have both parties working to support the household, rather than one party working while the other party cares for the home.
  • Alimony lasts forever. Alimony does not have to be permanent. Bridge-the-gap alimony, for instance, is awarded to help one party transition from married life to single life and rehabilitative alimony is awarded to aid one party in retraining or rehabilitating his or herself in order to reenter the job market.
  • Alimony cannot be changed. Alimony is modifiable unless it is specifically labeled as non-modifiable in the divorce. An unanticipated, involuntary change in circumstances, such as the paying party being laid off or the recipient obtaining an increase in income, may result in a modification of alimony.
  • A new spouse's income will count toward the payor's income. A new spouse's income DOES NOT count toward the alimony obligation of a payor. When a party files to modify alimony, he or she must provide a financial affidavit which includes his or her income and expenses only, and does not provide for including the income of a new spouse after remarriage.

Helping You Protect Your Financial Future

Whether you are seeking alimony from a soon-to-be ex-spouse, or you are trying to protect your assets during a contentious divorce, the key is to obtain competent legal representation from an alimony attorney in Jacksonville.

Our attorneys at Owenby Law, P.A. can represent you in either side of an alimony dispute, so please do not hesitate to contact our firm today. During a free initial consultation, we can help you explore all of your financial options.

Contact our Jacksonville spousal support lawyers at Owenby Law to arrange your free consultation.

The Benefits of Hiring Owenby Law, P.A.

  • Free Initial Consultations
  • Successfully Handled Thousands of Cases
  • Backed by Over 15 Years of Experience
  • Personalized, Results-Oriented Representation
  • A Team of Compassionate Advocates On Your Side
  • Flexible Payment Plans Available