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Can Being a Daddy’s Girl Affect Your Eligibility for Alimony?


In-laws are a major source of marital discord; they rank up there with jealousy and money-related disagreements as a source of conflict between spouses.  Almost every aspect of your life becomes more stressful when one of your spouse’s parents insists on being a third wheel in your marriage.  Things that are supposed to be fun, like holidays, become a chore when your in-laws insist on celebrating according to their own plans, and things that are difficult anyway, such as raising children or buying a house, become even more difficult when your in-laws second guess everything that you do.  Eventually, you get to the point where you say, “If you are Daddy’s princess, then he can keep you!”  If only it were as simple as walking away from a spouse who never truly became independent of his or her parents and letting the family unit carry on as if you had never been in the picture.  No matter why the marriage failed, each former spouse has the right to a fair share of the marital property.  Financial contributions from in-laws can, however, be a factor in the complex calculations related to equitable distribution.  A Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you get your fair share of the property you acquired during a marriage that your spouse or your ex-spouse ruined.

If Financial Support From Family Members Is Predictable Enough, It Counts as Income

In most cases where one former spouse receives alimony, it is obvious to both parties that the spouse with the lower income cannot be financially independent of the higher income spouse immediately after the divorce is finalized.  Most couples in this situation agree to an alimony amount and duration during mediation and memorialize their decision in a marital settlement agreement (MSA).  When the court determines the alimony amount, it calculates the amount based on each party’s income and expenses.  The court may impute income to one of the spouses if it determines that he or she is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed.  When it does this, it bases the alimony award on the amount that the spouse could earn if he or she worked full-time at a job for which he or she is qualified.

When determining the income a spouse actually receives, the court accounts not only for employment income, but also investment income, distributions from trust funds, and in some cases, financial support from family members.  A Florida court recently ruled on a case in which it included yearly payments the former wife received from her father as income; the alimony she received from her ex-husband only needed to be enough to cover the remainder of her expenses that her income from her employment and her father could not cover.  When the former wife’s father died, the court recalculated the amount.

Contact Schwartz | White About Alimony and In-Laws

A South Florida family law attorney can help you get a fair alimony award even if you have been receiving financial support from your parents before, during, and after the marriage.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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