The face of alimony is about to change around the country, and it will affect thousands of Floridians. Alimony in 2019 will not be tax deductible for the person paying it, and it will not be taxable income for the person receiving it. This is a complete switch from the way things have been for decades.
In anticipation of this change, it may be helpful to review the purposes of alimony and how it gets decided in the Sunshine State.
How long do people pay and receive alimony after a marriage?
The final decision is up to the court with jurisdiction over the divorce or separation agreement. It may last long enough for a spouse to get back on his or her feet as an independent person. There may be a set time after which a person is no longer entitled to alimony. Permanent alimony may be assigned in rare cases, and decisions may be subject to alteration in later hearings.
How is the amount and type of alimony decided?
Many factors weigh on a judge's or mediator's decision. A person's standard of living in a marriage, as well as that person's age or ability to gain independence, are all important issues. Individual resources, the ability to earn a living due to skills or education and the contribution of each person to the marriage are also important concerns.
How can a person ensure fair alimony?
Anyone going through a divorce should consider legal representation. An experienced attorney can represent your individual interests throughout negotiations, mediations and court hearings as you work through the division of assets and decisions about alimony payments. That's the best way to ensure that you are treated fairly -- whether you expect to pay or receive support.