Spousal Support Lawyer In Sarasota, FL

When divorce ends a marriage, financial ties between the spouses may not immediately be dissolved. In cases in which one spouse earns higher wages, the other spouse is often entitled to receive spousal support or alimony. Courts order spousal support to assist the less well-off spouse in establishing financial independence after the divorce. But these rulings can financially affect both the payer and recipient for the foreseeable future, if not permanently. To ensure your arrangement is as beneficial as possible, contact the experienced spousal support attorneys with Tobaygo Law. 

During your divorce, our family law attorneys in Sarasota, FL, will offer personal guidance, including on drafting spousal support agreements, and defend your interests in court if necessary. Our ultimate goal is to make sure you can enjoy peace of mind and move on in life on a solid financial footing.

How Divorce Lawyers Help With Spousal Support Agreements

Divorce is typically an emotional affair. Even if the split is amicable, such as a no-contest divorce, all it takes is one disagreement to create animosity. From there it’s a short time until the financial negotiations break down and both sides dig in their heels. But whether your negotiations over spousal support are friendly or contentious, hiring a divorce lawyer offers you a fresh set of eyes to survey the situation, protect your interests, and ultimately find a favorable, yet realistic resolution. Here are some of the ways that our attorneys could assist in your spousal support case.

Calculating A Fair Amount Of Spousal Support 

In the heat of an acrimonious divorce, you might feel tempted to concede on a spousal support agreement just to move on and end the debate. But a hasty decision could result in you paying more or receiving less spousal support than is fair and necessary. Our spousal support lawyers calculate the appropriate amount of spousal support to request by investigating the same factors that a judge would consider, including: 

  • The household’s sources of income
  • Each spouse’s employability and earning capacity
  • The marital standard of living
  • Each spouse’s age and physical condition
  • The needs of children
  • Each spouse’s financial resources
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s non-monetary contributions

Determining Tax Implications

Our family lawyers can put into perspective the long-term economic effects of a spousal support arrangement, particularly its tax implications. Before January 1, 2019, recipients had to declare any support as taxable income, while payers could deduct the money. However, a change to the federal tax law has flipped the equation, making spousal support non-taxable for recipients and non-deductible for payers. What this law means for your divorce case, and how it could affect which type of alimony you should pursue, are areas where our attorneys can offer guidance.

Choosing The Right Type Of Spousal Support Agreement

Spousal support laws differ by state. Florida has several options for spousal support available. While a judge decides in most cases which type (or types) of spousal support apply to the circumstances, a family law attorney can still craft a persuasive argument for the spousal support that is most beneficial for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Spousal Support

Here are the questions asked most commonly about spousal support in Florida. If you have additional questions about your alimony case, please contact us to schedule a legal consultation.

Will I have to pay spousal support?

It depends on what the court decides during your divorce proceedings. In general, if one spouse needs support and the other spouse can pay it, then the court will award spousal support. Even if you are ordered to pay spousal support, our family law attorneys can argue before the court to help ensure the amount is reasonable and fair. Support could be also decreased or canceled later if your circumstances change.

What is spousal support?

Spousal support is financial assistance for the lower-wage-earning spouse after a divorce is finalized. The amount is determined by the court based on each spouse’s marital assets, income, earning capacity, as well as other factors.

Can I modify my spousal support payments?

It depends on the type of spousal support awarded in the divorce decree. Most types of spousal support in Florida can be modified if certain conditions and/or circumstances are met. An alimony lawyer with Tobaygo Law can review your case and determine if a modification is possible.

Who determines how much spousal support is owed?

The judge overseeing your divorce proceedings will make the determination as to how much spousal support you will pay or receive. Factors the court will consider are outlined in Florida statute 61.08, but the amount is ultimately left to the judge’s discretion.

What If I Can’t Make The Spousal Support Payments?

If you can’t keep up with spousal support, perhaps because your income has changed, there are available options. One of them is to submit a request for a spousal support modification. Never ignore the problem of late payments. Instead, contact our family law firm in Sarasota to receive advice from experienced marriage law attorneys.

Will I go to jail if I don't pay spousal support?

Jail time is one penalty you could face for the failure to pay. You may also be fined or compelled to make spousal support payments through a judgment lien, writ of execution, or wage garnishment. These same avenues of enforcement may also be used to collect late spousal support payments.