QUALITY, INTEGRITY, EXCELLENCE
Divorce in Florida
Helping You Fight for Your Future
At the James Turner Law Firm, LLC, in Milton, Florida, our firm focuses significantly on the areas of divorce and family law in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties. Our goal is to help you get through this difficult time as quickly as possible, while actively protecting your interests. If you are currently going through a divorce or are simply considering it, we can help you understand and address the various issues that come with dissolving a marriage including divorce, child support, child custody, visitation, division of property and alimony. You may also want to consider mediation as a faster and less expensive alternative to the traditional divorce process.
Or you may be in the process of getting married and wondering whether a Prenuptial Agreement is the right decision for you. Whatever your needs, we have the skills, resources and experience necessary to successfully bring your case to a conclusion with professionalism, integrity and compassion for you, the client.
What is it? When does it apply?
First, there are a few things you should note. In a divorce proceeding (i.e. dissolution of marriage), the court may grant alimony to either party. Alimony is determined by a number of factors (to be discussed below).
But first, what types of alimony are there? In any award of alimony, the court may order periodic payments, payments in lump sum or both. Alimony can either be what’s called “bridge-the-gap”, rehabilitative, durational or it can be permanent in nature. Here is a brief description of each:
- Bridge-the-gap alimony provides support to allow a party to transition from marriage to single life, helping with short-term financial needs. This form of alimony cannot exceed two years. Bridge the gap alimony cannot be modified after it is awarded. In other words the court cannot increase the amount, nor can they lengthen the period to be paid.
- Rehabilitative alimony is to help a party become self-supporting by redeveloping previous skills or acquiring new skills through education or training. For example, this type of alimony is intended to allow an individual to return to school for a new career, improve job skills, or take a refresher course. The underlying purpose is to increase or establish the income of a non-working spouse or a spouse that does not earn enough to be self-sufficient. Florida law as recently been amended to create the requirement of rehabilitative alimony that there be a written rehabilitation plan. For example, a plan can consist of a budget for a college degree along with necessary living expenses.
- Durational alimony is a short-term alimony award that would be appropriate if none of the other categories are suitable. The new statute suggests that moderate term marriages of between 7 and 17 years would be appropriate for durational alimony. This form of alimony is paid for a court-determined length of time not to exceed the length of the marriage itself. A durational award may be later modified in amount but not in length.
- Permanent alimony may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage for the party who lacks the financial ability to meet his or her own needs following a divorce. Permanent alimony will most likely be awarded only if following a marriage of long duration. However, before a judge awards permanent alimony, there must be a stated justification that no other form of alimony (short term alimony) would be fair and reasonable. Permanent alimony may be awarded following a marriage of moderate duration if such an award is appropriate under statutory factors and that the award is supported by “clear and convincing evidence.” A permanent alimony award is only appropriate after a marriage of short duration if there are exceptional circumstances.
In determining a proper award of alimony or maintenance, the court shall consider all relevant economic factors, including but not limited to:
- The standard of living established during the marriage.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
- The financial resources of each party, the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
- When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
- The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
- All sources of income available to either party.
- The court may consider any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
- The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
- The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
- All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
Additionally, an award of alimony must not leave the person who will be paying the alimony with significantly less income than the person who will be receiving the alimony – unless there are exceptional circumstances.
When looking at a potential divorce in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties, its imperative that you speak to a divorce lawyer. Contact Milton divorce attorney James Turner at (850) 983-0725 to schedule a consultation regarding your rights. Milton divorce attorney James Turner offers flexible office hours and cost-effective procedures designed to keep our fees and your costs to a minimum. Our focus is on the client and your satisfaction.
Call (850) 983-0725 today to schedule an initial consultation.
Clients of the James Turner Law Firm, LLC know that excellence is in the very foundation of the firm. Clients hire our firm for a reason: aggressive and quality representation. We will always protect and pursue our clients’ interests to the extent of what the law allows. We pursue a course of calculated aggression so as not over litigate when the case does not require it. Essentially, it is our job to provide you with the most cost-effective, aggressive representation possible and we strive to do that each and every day.
Copyright 2015. James Turner Law Firm, LLC. The Milton, Florida, office of The James Turner Law Firm, LLC, serves clients throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, including Pensacola, Bellview, Gonzalez, Century, Pace, Gulf Breeze, Milton, Cantonment, Molino, Perdido Key, Walnut Hill, Bagdad, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola Beach; counties including Santa Rosa County and Escambia County; as well as Eglin Air Force Base, Whiting Field and NAS Pensacola (Naval Air Station).
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5208 Elmira Street • Milton, Florida 32570