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Alimony In Florida: Lessons From Case Law


Money and career choices are a common source of conflict among couples, and every couple that stays together has found a solution that works for them when it comes to managing their financial obligations.  You probably know dual career couples, stay-at-home moms, and families where one spouse worked a boring job while the other spent years launching a business before it became profitable.  The only thing they have in common is that they arrived at these arrangements by their own choice; the court did not tell them when to reenter the workforce after having children and when to put their entrepreneurship plans on hold and go back to a 9 to 5.  When it comes to divorce, though, the court will decide if you can’t agree.  The court will not force you to fund your ex-wife’s plans to continue being a stay-at-home mom if she is able to work, nor will it force you to continue to bankroll her singing career that has made no measurable progress in the past decade.  The courts only award alimony when the financially disadvantaged spouse has no other source of financial support.  A Tampa alimony lawyer can help you resolve disputes related to alimony in your divorce case.

If You Are Capable of Working, It Is Not You Ex-Spouse’s Responsibility to Support You

Permanent alimony typically applies only in the case of long marriages (more than 17 years) or in cases where one spouse cannot work due to health issues.  In Hua v. Tsung, the wife, who had been out of the workforce during the parties’ 13-year marriage, requested permanent alimony from her wealthy husband.  Instead, the court ordered rehabilitative alimony that would last until the wife graduated from nursing school.

Entrepreneurship Is Not Always a Substitute for Employment

In Koscher v. Koscher, the court ordered the husband to pay permanent alimony after a 30-year marriage.  The husband subsequently left his salaried job for less lucrative self-employment, and he requested a reduction in the amount of his alimony obligations.  The court refused to request on the grounds that the husband was voluntarily underemployed.

Family Caregiving Obligations Can Limit a Person’s Employment Opportunities

In Dickson v. Dickson, the parties had three minor children, and the wife was in her 40s and healthy.  Ordinarily, the court would have required her to return to the workforce, but all three children have special needs, and the wife, who was the primary residential parent, had limited availability to work because of her caregiving obligations.  Therefore, the court ordered the husband to pay her permanent alimony.

Contact Our Tampa Alimony Lawyers at Bubley & Bubley

Not all divorce cases involve alimony, and when the courts award alimony, it is only in the amount and for the duration required to keep the financially disadvantaged spouse from needing to rely on public assistance.  A family law attorney can help you resolve disputes related to alimony.  Contact Bubley & Bubley in Tampa, Florida to discuss your case.

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