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Florida Transitional Alimony

Florida divorce law requires that permanent periodic alimony (a fixed amount per month which lasts until one spouse dies or the receiving spouse remarries) is restricted to long term marriages. So what do you do if you have not been married for a long time? The concept of transitional alimony was created precisely to accommodate this situation.

What if you are going through a Florida divorce after a three year marriage and your spouse earns substantially more income than you do? If you are fully employed to your highest potential, rehabilitative alimony is not appropriate and will not be awarded by the court. Your marriage is also too short in duration to be considered for permanent periodic alimony. For this precise situation, Florida law allows a judge to award transitional alimony.

Transitional alimony is awarded for the purpose of getting a divorcing person from married life to single life without unreasonable financial difficulties. Skilled Florida divorce attorneys have asked for and Florida divorce judges have awarded sums of money for the purpose of paying first and last month's rent on a new apartment, for making a down payment on a new house, for hiring a moving company to take furniture to a new residence or even for buying furniture to place there.

It is awarded when one spouse is better off financially than the other spouse going out of the marriage. The court will determine this by looking at both the marital and non-marital assets that each party has at the time of the divorce and also at the income each has. The court will also consider things such as the amount of sacrifice the requesting party went through to join in the marriage, such as giving up an apartment or changing jobs.

Bottom Line: Even though you may not have a marriage long enough to qualify for permanent periodic alimony and your employment is sufficient to disqualify you from rehabilitative alimony, you may want to speak to an expert divorce lawyer about being awarded money to help you go from being married to being single under the right circumstances.

(copyright Stann Givens 2009)

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A spouse who does not make timely support payments can have his or her wages garnished through the Florida Child Support Enforcement Department. The court orders that alimony be automatically taken from the paying spouse's paycheck. The court can also order that the paying spouse give the alimony payments to the Support Enforcement Department, which will give the money to the receiving spouse. The department acts as a third party which manages the collection and distribution of support payments on a statewide basis. If the paying spouse of child support or alimony fails to make timely and sufficient payments, the court can suspend the paying spouse's driver's license.
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