Can You Waive Your Right to Alimony?

Alimony, or spousal support, can be an important part of the foundation on which you build your new life after divorce. The financial transition going from a two-income house down to a one-income house can be jarring. This can be even more true if your spouse was the sole breadwinner. Now you must find a job and your footing, along with possibly needing more training or education to get a job that will support your costs of living. In some cases, alimony awarded is only temporary so that a person has financial support when pursuing employment opportunities post-divorce. Other times, it is permanent in order to provide a person with the support needed to maintain the lifestyle that was enjoyed during the marriage. In any case, alimony can be critical in post-divorce life. Still, some people opt to waive their right to alimony for several reasons. Does Florida allow for this?

Can You Waive Your Right to Alimony?

Yes, in Florida, you can waive your right to pursue alimony. Since Florida courts recognize how important alimony can be, however, this right is limited. For instance, the right to receive temporary alimony and seek attorney’s fees while your divorce is pending cannot be waived. Other kinds of alimony, however, can be waived in a few different ways.

First, you can waive your right to alimony in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. While this is not an uncommon practice, entering into an agreement that waives your right to alimony before or at an earlier point in your marriage should be thoughtfully considered. At that point, there are many unknowns. You do not know how long you will be married. Will it be a long-term marriage? Short-term marriage? Moderate marriage? You do not know if you will keep your job and stay employed. Will you have children? You will not know what your earning capacity may look at the point where your marriage may end. These are things that can have significant impacts on whether you will want and need alimony, but you will be asked to waive your right to alimony before all these things become realities.

You can also waive your right to alimony in a separation agreement or divorce settlement agreement. Again, however, there are still unknowns. At this point, however, the unknowns are due in large part to the fact that alimony calculations are not made with some set formula. There are a few factors that will be weighed in rendering a decision on an alimony award, but it can still be difficult to discern the value of what you are giving up because there is no clear-cut calculation to be made before you waive your right to alimony. Should you be considering waiving your right to pursue alimony through a separation or divorce agreement, consider first looking at the specifics of your circumstances to get an idea of what kind of alimony award you may receive should you not waive this right. You can use this as leverage when addressing other issues incident to divorce. Consider using it wisely.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Alimony, much like divorce in general, can be emotionally charged, but also very important to handle the right way. The dedicated divorce team at Orlando Family Team is here to provide you with continuing legal support throughout the process. Contact us today.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.