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Can you ask for alimony as part of your pending Florida divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2020 | Family law

When you got married, your spouse’s financial stability or career success may be part of what attracted you to them. Eventually, when your family started growing or your household circumstances required it, you may have decided along with your spouse that it was best for you to leave the workforce and stay at home.

Whether you provided support for a career-oriented spouse by maintaining a clean house and making meals or you raised children, your contributions will have had a profound impact on the life of your spouse.

Unfortunately, staying out of the workforce for so long can drastically reduce your earning potential when you go back to try to find a job. If you find yourself considering divorce now after years out of the workforce, you may wonder if you have the right to request alimony as part of your Florida divorce.

Many spouses can potentially qualify for temporary alimony

The Florida courts want to create a divorce outcome that is fair and reasonable. Ideally, they would like to see the members of the family all enjoy the same standard of living as they did during the marriage. As such, they will theoretically grant a dependent spouse’s request for temporary alimony during the divorce and for a specific period of time after the divorce.

You can use those funds to pay your cost of living expenses or help set you up while taking basic courses to become competitive in your preferred field again. In some cases, going back to school or even getting an internship can be a way to break back into the workforce after years of being out of it. Alimony can help make those stepping stones more reachable.

Permanent alimony is typically only available in specific situations

Generally speaking, if you are able-bodied and of working age, the courts will expect you to take responsibility and find a way to support yourself after your divorce. Even if you secure primary custody of the children, the court will still expect you to seek financial independence.

Still, there are circumstances in which the Florida courts may award permanent alimony. One such situation would be if you have full custody of a child with special needs who will require care for the rest of their life. Another situation would be where you have a medical condition that will prevent you from working and supporting yourself.

Finally, if you divorce later in life after a long marriage, the courts could order alimony as a way to ensure that you don’t experience poverty in your golden years after supporting your spouse through their career.