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Florida among minority states that still have permanent alimony

After years of marriage and raising your family, you and your spouse made plans to retire in Florida. It's a popular location for post-career living. Perhaps, you weren't very far into that journey when you realized your marriage was no longer sustainable. You'd had problems when your kids were growing up, but you decided it was more important at the time to provide a stable environment for them, so you overlooked the problem issues and persevered.  

Now that your children are grown, you have more time to focus on your own needs. The problem is that you gave up your career when you had your first baby and as the next several children arrived, you kept reaffirming your decision to be a stay-at-home parent. Since you've been considering filing for divorce, you've also begun to wonder how you make ends meet if you do so, since you have always been dependent upon your spouse's income.  

Research permanent alimony 

Florida is one of seven states that still orders permanent alimony in some divorce situations. Many times, a person receiving this type of alimony is unable to work, but not always. When you gave up a career to contribute to your marriage by raising a family at home full-time, you also increased your need for financial support from your spouse. The following information provides basic facts that might apply to your situation:  

  • How long you were married is a significant factor that will influence a judge's decision on whether to order permanent alimony in your case. 
  • The court understands that the longer you were at home raising your children, the longer you were out of the workforce. 
  • The judge overseeing your divorce will also want to consider your spouse's ability to make permanent alimony payments. 
  • If you have an illness or disability that prevents you from being able to work, chances are high that you will be able to receive permanent alimony. 
  • If you receive permanent alimony, then remarry at some point, payments may cease. 
  • In addition, if your ex loses a job or becomes ill or disabled and unable to work, the court may order a decrease or cessation of permanent alimony payments. 

It is critical to remember that receiving permanent alimony in Florida calculates as income on your federal tax returns. In other words, you will have to pay taxes on the alimony you receive. Many people in similar situations in the past have needed permanent alimony to make ends meet after divorce. To better understand state laws and the process that leads to alimony, it can be helpful to speak to someone who is well versed in family law. 

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