RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
01/10/2014
RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
01/10/2014
“Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results.”
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Durational Alimony

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Family in need of attorney

Throughout our decades of practice, the Gainesville Alimony Attorneys, of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. have seen a progression in Florida law regarding spousal support awards. For example, durational alimony is a fairly new development in Florida (2011), and was initially enacted to provide an alternative to other forms of support, in short and moderate length marriages. Durational alimony was subsequently expanded to include long-term marriages as well, the effect of which has been an apparent reduction in the court’s use of permanent spousal support.

As its name indicates, durational support, is intended to provide economic assistance for a set period of time. It may be awarded in circumstances where permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. While it is most commonly used in cases where the marriage lasted less than 17 years (i.e short or moderate length), it has become an increasingly common form of support award following marriages of long duration (17 years or more) since the amendments that took effect in 2011.

When it comes to spousal support, it is important to keep in mind that although the alimony laws in Florida have evolved greatly, there are still a lot of gray areas, which allow courts considerable discretion in ruling upon support matters. As such, having an experienced attorney that can effectively argue your position can be highly advantageous to a party involved in an alimony proceeding. In weighing the benefits of attorney representation versus a pro se (self-represented) approach in initial support proceedings, it is helpful to consider the benefits that a knowledgeable alimony lawyer can offer whether you are seeking alimony or attempting to avoid it.

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From the perspective of a petitioner that is seeking permanent support following a marriage of long duration, it is critical to provide the court with sufficient evidence demonstrating why ongoing support is appropriate, necessary, and reasonable under the circumstances. Failing to do so could result in an award of durational, or worse, no support at all. On the other hand, a petitioner may wish to establish durational support, particularly in marriages lasting less than 17 years, and therefore must show the court why economic assistance is needed for the time period requested. Again, failure to properly do so, can result in denial of a support request. Securing an attorney to advocate on your behalf can profoundly impact the outcome in a support proceeding.

From the perspective of a party defending a request to establish support, it is important to ensure that your legal interests are fully protected, and that no inequity occurs between parties. An experienced alimony attorney can assess the length of the marriage, the needs of the requesting recipient, and your financial ability to pay, and determine the best approach to take in either limiting the amount and/or duration of support payments, or avoiding alimony altogether. Experienced alimony attorneys know the way the courts view these issues in a way that someone who is not an alimony attorney cannot.

Once an initial support order is established, a party may wish to modify or terminate payments. In contrast to other types of spousal support, durational alimony can be modified as to the amount of payments, but generally cannot be modified as to duration of payments unless (1) exceptional circumstances exist; and (2) the request for modification does not seek to extend payments for a period that exceeds the length of the marriage. Evidence showing a ‘substantial change of circumstances’ is required to obtain modification or termination of durational support, with the exception to termination requests based upon death of either party, or remarriage of the recipient.

At the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A., we believe that professionalism demands not only a dedication to attaining justice, but also compassion and superior attention to client needs. Whether you wish to establish, defend, appeal, modify, terminate or enforce an award or request for spousal support, our client focused results driven Gainesville Alimony Attorneys have the practice experience and know-how to obtain results.