Effective July 1, 2010, the Florida legislature passed amendments to the alimony statute that apply to initial awards of alimony entered after July 1, 2010 and modifications of such awards. In any proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court may grant alimony to either party, which may be bridge –the- gap, rehabilitative, durational, or any combination of these forms of alimony. This article will now address a form of alimony known as permanent alimony.Permanent Alimony Factors
Before considering an award of permanent alimony the court must first determine equitable distribution of marital assets and marital liabilities. The award of permanent alimony is discretionary with the court. The court must initially determine (1) entitlement and then (2) amount. The primary factors for the court to consider in determining entitlement are need and ability to pay. The court must actually determine if either party has a need for alimony, and that the other party has the ability to pay alimony. Permanent alimony may be awarded following a long term marriage is such a Ward is appropriate after applying the factors in the alimony statute:
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- the duration of the marriage
- the age and physical and emotional condition of each party
- the financial resources of each party, the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each
- when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment
- the contribution of each party to the marriage, including but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party
- all sources of income available to the party
- the court may consider any other factor to do equity and justice between the parties.
In awarding permanent alimony, the court must find that no other form of alimony is fair and reasonable under the circumstances of the parties. The alimony award must not leave the payer with significantly less income than the recipient unless there are exceptional circumstances. Permanent alimony, if appropriate, is generally awarded after a long-term marriage. However, it can be awarded after a marriage of moderate duration if there is clear and convincing evidence or after a short term marriage if there are exceptional circumstances.
The award of permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the party receiving alimony. Permanent periodic alimony is taxable to the payee spouse and deductible to the payer spouse unless specifically stated otherwise.
Sometimes a court may determine that a party is entitled to permanent alimony but the pain party has insufficient resources to pay the appropriate amount of alimony. Under this scenario the court can award a nominal amount of permanent alimony which reserves jurisdiction so that the court can modify the amount of alimony should the financial circumstances of the payer spouse improve.Contact a West Palm Beach Permanent Alimony Attorney
If you are involved in a long-term marriage the court may find it appropriate to award permanent alimony. It is very important that you consult with a highly knowledgeable and experienced alimony attorney. For more information about permanent alimony and other forms of alimony that may be granted by the court, call an experienced West Palm Beach alimony attorney at (561) 833-2772 or contact us online for a consultation.