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Are You Entitled To Alimony In Your Divorce Case?


Standup comedians and tabloid journalists can get rich off of alimony without themselves ever having been recipients of a court-ordered alimony award.  The former can play off of the audience’s visceral outrage at the idea of the court ordering someone to continue to support their ex-spouse financially, sometimes even until one of the former spouse’s dies.  The latter can play to the audience’s aspirations by writing about a celebrity living his or her best life while receiving alimony from his or her ex-spouse.  (What would you do if the court ordered someone to pay you all the money that Brandon Blackstock receives from his much more famous ex-wife Kelly Clarkson?)  They can also play to the audience’s sense of Schadenfreude when the court orders a cheater to pay his ex a hefty alimony award.  In real life, alimony is a lot less interesting; it rarely lasts for the rest of someone’s life, and it is almost never what determines whether or not someone is rich.  To find out more about your rights and obligations regarding spousal support, contact a Boca Raton alimony lawyer.

Your Spouse Probably Already Knows Whether You Are Entitled to Alimony

The family law courts of Florida sometimes rule on disputes where one former spouse requests alimony, but the other denies the claims on which the spouse bases the request, but these disputes are the exception to the rule.  Most alimony disputes are not a question of yes or no, but rather disagreements about the amount or the duration.  If you were out of the workforce for most of your marriage (even if your spouse objected to this), your spouse knows that this means that you were financially dependent on him, and even if you have already started working, it will be a while before you can be financially independent.  Likewise, if your age and health prevent you from working, this is obvious to your spouse.  Most alimony arrangements arise from marital settlement agreements mutually agreed upon by divorcing couples, not from decisions by judges.

The Court Can Order Alimony Recipients to Return to the Workforce

Unless you are past retirement age or unable to work because of a disability, the court will probably require you to return to the workforce even if it awards you alimony.  When an alimony recipient is not working, the court calculates how much the recipient is capable of earning (this is called imputed income) and subtracts this amount from the recipient’s total expenses to determine how much spousal support the recipient’s ex-spouse should pay.  Imputed income is a hypothetical amount, based on speculation about the labor market.  If the court has imputed an unfair amount of income to you, resulting in you receiving insufficient alimony, you have the right to challenge the amount of income it has imputed to you.

Contact Schwartz | White About Spousal Support

A South Florida family law attorney can help you get a fair alimony award in your divorce case.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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