Law Office of Daniel E. Forrest, P.A.

Alimony: An important support for supportive spouses

Although you may not want to pay spousal support to your spouse upon divorce, it's important to recognize the purpose of it. Spousal support, also known as alimony, is awarded to help limit unfair economic effects of a divorce. For instance, if you have been the sole provider and your partner was a stay-at-home parent, then alimony may be paid to help your partner while finding a job or going back to school to start a new career. Alimony may also be awarded to help your spouse continue to live at the same standard that you do now.

Alimony is determined based on a number of factors including the length of time needed to gain the education necessary to become self-sufficient, the length of the marriage, your standard of living during the marriage and the ability of the payer to afford the support the other spouse requires while still supporting him or herself.

Who gets custody? How can a court decide?

When deciding who gets custody of a child, there are lots of things to consider. The child's best interests are the primary concern, so parents need to consider that first. For instance, if the child's mother is always available during the day and the father is available on weekends, then a custody arrangement that works with that schedule will give the child time with both parents when they aren't busy.

If the parents can't agree on custody, then the courts have to make the decision for them. This is difficult, but the court looks at numerous factors to make the decision. It's normal for the court to award the child's primary caretaker custody, but depending on the situation, that isn't always the case.

A successful, positive divorce is possible despite perceptions

Is it possible to have a successful divorce when you have a marriage with many valuable assets? The answer is a resounding, "yes." Although there are many stigmas about divorce and perhaps the perception that all divorces involve conflict, those ideas simply are not true in 2017. Divorces are less of a stigma today than in the past, and most people see them as a sad event that was bound to happen to at least one person they know.

When you decide you want to get a divorce, don't let the idea that you'll be chastised hold you back. A divorce can be positive and successful for many people. Taking a few steps ahead of time can prepare you for your divorce and help it move along swiftly.

Alimony can support the lifestyle you've become accustomed to

When you are facing the prospect of divorce, one of your main concerns may come down to money. If you've been a housewife or househusband, you may not have a career to support you. Even if you get a job, there's a chance it won't pay as much as your spouse currently earns.

Depending on how long you've been married and your particular circumstances, you could be eligible for alimony. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is not required in Florida, but you can negotiate for it in some cases. For example, if you gave up your career to stay home with your children for the last decade, it's possible to obtain alimony from your spouse while you obtain a new job, go to school for further education or to help boost your standard of living to what you've become accustomed to.

Board certification makes the difference in a divorce case

You decided that you wanted to get a divorce long ago, but you've been putting it off because you think finding an attorney may be difficult. It's important, of course, to understand who you should work with and why.

One of the things you should consider is the attorney's background in marital and family law. Attorneys who have board certification are likely to be better educated and to have a long history of legal work behind them. For many, these are the best attorneys for the job.

Alimony can be an important topic in a gray divorce

You've been living with your spouse for many years, and your finances are intertwined. You stayed home to watch your children more than your spouse, so you only worked part-time. Now, you're in your 50's and your children have finally moved out of your home. You thought this was when you'd get back to living in a way that celebrated your spouse and your achievements and life together, but your spouse wants to get a divorce. You aren't sure if you should ask for alimony or not.

Alimony can seem like a dirty word during a divorce. If you ask for it, someone can accuse you of being a gold-digger or trying to take advantage of your ex. If you don't want to pay it, you could be accused of being cheap or unfair. No matter what your situation is, you need to understand that alimony is an important part of some divorces. Not all divorces have alimony payments, so you may not end up having to deal with them at all.

You can fight for what you deserve during your divorce

High-net worth divorces are sometimes considered more challenging than others because there are so many assets to find and divide among the spouses. There are potential tax implications and long-term implications for each person's retirement and role in businesses or other financial situations.

If the couple owns a business, the business has to be valuated. Sometimes, this requires up to three valuations to determine an average value that the couple agrees on. Other issues could come up if the individuals want to sell or continue working together with the business.

What can you do to save a marriage?

Getting a divorce is a big deal, so before you take that step, it's a good idea to decide if it's the right choice. Reconsider the option, because the last thing you want is to go through a divorce only to regret your decision.

How can you work to save your marriage if you're not sure a divorce is the right option? Start by listening to your spouse. Even if you think you do already, it's a good idea to sit down and have a discussion about what each of you would like to see change. Try to avoid getting angry or defensive, because this shuts down communication.

Is a prenuptial agreement going to threaten a marriage?

Many people believe that prenuptial agreements are bad because they make it seem like you don't trust your spouse. The truth is that a prenuptial agreement could make someone feel that way, but that's not what it's intended for. Prenuptial agreements have a place, especially in relationships where one person has more money or greater assets than the other.

The point of a prenuptial agreement is not to ban your spouse from ever obtaining any of the property accrued during your marriage or to keep him or her from being your equal. Instead, it helps define things like the assets both of you are bringing into the marriage as well as what you intend to do with others. You can even work out settlement details in case you get a divorce in the future, which can help take away the stress of not knowing what would happen if you did end up separating.

Here's what you need in your settlement agreement

You are likely dividing up your assets if you're going through a divorce. Not only that, but you're also dividing up your debts. Your settlement agreement will be legally binding, so it's important to get it right the first time.

Not all settlement agreements have everything about the marriage dissolution, and many people choose to have a settlement agreement separate from child custody, alimony or other agreements.

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