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Why Don’t More Men Get Alimony?

There are approximately 400,000 people in the country who receive payments in the form of alimony. Of these people, only 3 percent were men. That may not be surprising to you, as we typically think of women as the people who receive post-divorce support.

It may be more surprising when you discover that 40 percent of households today are headed by a female breadwinner. Those numbers would suggest that there are thousands of men who may be entitled to alimony that aren’t receiving it. But why?

Societal Pressures

There are a variety of reasons that men aren’t receiving alimony. Some choose not to. Gender roles dictate that the man is supposed to take care of the woman and not the other way around. Pride is a strong beast that can easily get in the way of a man accepting alimony payments from his ex-wife. In some instances, depending on what area of the country you live in, you may find a judge that is sexist. There’s really no other way to say it.

Sexist ideas and gender roles aren’t the only reasons that some men choose to forego alimony payments from their exes. Some men, the same as women, decline to seek anything from their ex because they hope the process of divorce goes smoother, not to mention co-parenting after the divorce. Some people simply believe that alimony will make things more difficult after the marriage ends, and it just isn’t worth paying the cost.

Perceived Self-Sufficiency

Others don’t take alimony payments because they believe that they are self-sufficient. They believe they will be able to easily find a job and support themselves. While in some cases this may be true, it is not always the case. Finding a job can take time, not to mention having a paycheck start rolling in. A man who believes that he doesn’t need alimony because he’s going to start taking care of himself quickly may be making a mistake.

What’s important to understand is that alimony payments are meant to enable the lower-earning spouse to support themselves until they can find a job. In other instances, it is meant to make up the difference between the income they have and what they will be losing in the divorce. No matter the reason, alimony is not a crutch but a necessary element in a divorce. Any person that deserves alimony and is not merely attempting to take advantage of their soon-to-be ex should accept the payments graciously.

Talk to an Orlando Divorce Attorney Today

If you need assistance with a divorce or have questions about alimony in Orlando, reach out to our family law team. We will review your needs at a free case evaluation and discuss your legal rights with you. Call today to schedule your consultation and let us assist you in making the process of divorce as smooth and efficient as possible.

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Tax Bill Passes: Get Ready for Changes to Alimony

The new federal tax reform has passed, and those paying or receiving alimony need to pay attention. In the final version of the plan, the way that alimony is handled come tax time has changed. Divorce lawyers are pointing out that the process of ending a marriage may be more complicated than before, particularly for those with lower incomes.

In previous years, those paying alimony were not taxed and rather claimed it as a deduction. The person receiving alimony was forced to treat the payments as income, paying tax on the payments when April came around. Under the new tax laws, anyone who is divorced after December 31, 2018 will be treated differently. Those already settled into alimony will not be affected.

Starting in 2019, any person who pays alimony will no longer be able to claim those payments as a deduction on their taxes. The person who receives the payments will no longer have to include it as income. While some divorce attorneys oppose these changes, others don’t see them as having a dramatic effect on divorces.

Not only do those anticipating a divorce need to be more careful with their planning, but anyone entering into a marriage with a prenuptial agreement should word those drafts carefully. The way alimony looks for these couples in the future, should a divorce occur, will look different than it does now.

For assistance with your Orlando divorce or alimony, reach out to our team. We will review the details of your case along with your needs and advise you how we can best assist you.

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Calculating Alimony in Florida

When you are considering divorce in Florida, one of the first things on your mind may be how you are going to support yourself with one income. You may even be worried because that income will be less than what you have become accustomed to. In some Florida divorces, alimony is ordered by judges so that one party is not left destitute.

A good divorce attorney can help you get regular alimony payments that are fair. These payments will ensure that your living standards are not drastically altered due to your divorce. On the other side of the coin, an experienced attorney can help ensure you aren’t paying an unfair amount if you are ordered to pay alimony.

While an attorney can certainly help set up fair payments, it is up to the court to make the final determination of how much those payments will be. To decide this, the court will look at several factors.

1. Length of Your Marriage

The first consideration a court will take is the length of your divorce. A short-term marriage is one that has lasted under seven years. A marriage that has lasted between 7 and 17 years is considered a medium-term one, and a long-term marriage is one that has lasted 17 years or more. The longer your marriage, the higher your payments will typically be.

2. Employment Prospects

Just because you are granted alimony doesn’t mean that you can go without work for as long as you like. Alimony is not a means of permanent support; rather, it is intended to help a divorced person maintain a certain financial status while they seek gainful employment. A court may consider your ability to secure employment when determining your alimony payments.

3. Disparity in Income

A judge will also look at the disparity in income between you and your spouse. Just because you made less, doesn’t mean you will get less. A judge will order alimony payments in an amount that allows you to maintain the lifestyle, or close to it, that you and your spouse adopted during the marriage.

4. Child Support

In general, the higher the amount of child support, the less the amount of the alimony payments, and vice versa. Child support takes a certain precedence over any financial support given to the ex-spouse and must be calculated together to determine the fair and appropriate amount.

5. Age of Spouse

A younger person will not typically pay as high of alimony as an older person. The older the couple, the higher the alimony tends to be, as finding gainful employment may be more difficult. This is not always the case, as many other factors come into play when a judge is determining the amount of payments.

Alimony is not meant to be a system of support forever, but it is intended to support a person while they are getting on their feet following a divorce. If you need assistance with determining fair alimony in Orlando, reach out to our office for a free case evaluation. We will help you determine what you may be entitled to, and we will help you fight for it in family court.