Waiving Your Right To Receive Alimony
In Florida, it is possible to waive your right to seek alimony in your divorce settlement. This right is limited, though, because courts recognize the importance of alimony for individuals working through the divorce process. You cannot waive your right to receive temporary alimony while your divorce is pending, but you can choose to waive your right to seek alimony through a separation agreement, a prenuptial agreement, or a divorce settlement agreement. Before you make this choice, work closely with an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure that you understand how alimony is calculated and how you can benefit from receiving it. Alimony is not an issue of pride or “winning,” it is an issue of financial security based on your contributions to your marriage.
Issues to Consider Before you Waive your Right to Alimony
Do not think of alimony as a means for former wives to avoid having to work after their divorces. This is not the case at all. Women and men are equally entitled to seek alimony in their divorces. Alimony is meant to compensate an individual for his or her career sacrifices during the marriage. In most cases, it provides a financial safety net, not unlike the financial security provided by the higher earning spouse during the marriage, for the recipient while he or she prepares to reenter the workforce by completing a college degree or vocational education program.
Alimony is taxed. For the recipient, it is taxable income. For the paying spouse, it is deductible.
Calculating Alimony in Florida
Florida courts consider multiple factors to determine an appropriate alimony order for an individual. One of these factors is the length of the couple’s marriage. Typically, the longer the couple’s marriage, the longer the recipient will receive alimony payments.
Courts also consider facts about a couple’s marriage and post-divorce needs to determine an appropriate type of alimony order for the couple. In certain cases, such as cases where one spouse is seeking rehabilitative alimony, the would-be recipient must submit a plan with a specific dollar figure request and an outline for his or her path toward self-sufficiency to the court.
Factors the court considers include:
- The length of the couple’s marriage;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- Each partner’s contributions to the marriage. This includes economic contributions as well as non-economic contributions like household maintenance;
- Each partner’s current income and separate assets;
- Each partner’s employability after the divorce; and
- Each partner’s age and health.
It is rare for a court to order permanent alimony. Generally, permanent alimony is only ordered when the recipient’s financial needs are likely to be permanent due to his or her disability, age, or another factor keeping him or her from becoming self-supporting.
Work with an Experienced Tampa Divorce Lawyer
Before you file for divorce, discuss alimony and related issues with an experienced divorce lawyer in Tampa. Contact our team at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office, during which we can take a closer look at the conditions present in your marriage and your needs after your divorce is finalized to give you customized legal advice.