At Dahl Family Law Group we esteem men too. Most of us are married to them or are raising sons to become great men, husbands and fathers. So do not read this title and think I am bashing men. But sometimes a man should think before going into a divorce or family law matter (especially going into Court) on whether a woman attorney might serve his needs better. Many a man will tell you they left court and felt the result was not fair because it seemed the Court saw things as two men beating up on the little woman. I have had several male clients tell me they flat out hired me because I was a woman that worked and would not automatically expect every wife to stay at home. Another said only women can figure out other women and I need someone to figure this out. One of my favorite clients complemented that his soon-to-be ex-wife’s crocodile tears did not phase me.
Both parents have a duty to support their children. The duty is ordinarily enforced through an award of child support from one parent to the other. To calculate child support, the court will usually follow a process in the child support guidelines statute. The process requires the court to consider the gross earnings of each party, subject to certain specified deductions, then apply those net earnings to a chart. Ordinarily, childcare expenses and child health insurance premiums are added to that charted figure. Alimony paid is considered income to the receiving spouse and is a deduction from the income of the person who pays. Each parent’s percentage of support is then calculated and a support figure is generated. When it is reasonably available, payment of health insurance premiums will be required, and the cost of uncovered medical, dental and prescription needs will be allocated.
Our firm is intimately knowledgeable regarding the numerous types of alimony available and the circumstances to which each type applies.
If you believe you are entitled to alimony, or are afraid you may have to pay alimony, come see us to discuss the specifics of your situation and what we can do to protect your rights.
DIVORCE OVERVIEW (WITH CHILDREN), part 4
Another factor that comes into play is alimony. Many of those who, at the time of marriage, did not want their spouse to work outside the home find themselves believing it to be unfair that they may have to pay spousal support (alimony). After all, if they are no longer married, why should one person still be obligated to provide support to the other? On the other hand, the spouse whose marital contribution including staying at home, and perhaps, raising children, may have given up secondary education or the ability to pursue an income-producing career by doing so. Should this spouse have the benefit of financial assistance after the marriage? If so, should it be long-term or short-term?
The courts, by and large, recognize these issues and the case law regarding alimony describes various options, including permanent periodic, durational, rehabilitative, and bridge-the-gap alimony. Permanent periodic alimony may be awarded after a long-term marriage, and requires the income-producing spouse to pay the other alimony until one of them dies or the recipient spouse remarries. Rehabilitative alimony is paid for a specific period of time and provides the recipient spouse with money while obtaining education or specialized training in order to get on a career track and be self-supporting. Bridge-the-gap was the new kid on the alimony block until recently when Florida law created Durational alimony. Bridge-the-gap alimony is paid for a very short period of time in an effort to assist the receiving spouse in getting over the financial burden that often occurs when transitioning from being married to being single. Durational alimony can be paid for as long as the marriage lasted. In awarding alimony, the Court must be able to justify its decisions or face the possibility of an appeal, which may overturn a decision.