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Family Law in Palm Beach County – Alimony

alimony_180x120-150x120Alimony is defined as the maintenance or spousal support that is an obligation established by a divorce. The obligation is based on the premise that both spouses supported each other during the marriage and alimony is the extension of that obligation after a separation or divorce.


Liberalization of divorce occurred in the nineteenth century, but divorce was only possible in cases of marital misconduct. As a result, the requirement to pay alimony was linked to the concept of “fault” in the divorce. Alimony to wives was paid because it was assumed that the marriage would have continued except for the misbehavior of the husband. According to the American Bar Association, marital fault is a “factor” in awarding alimony.

As a man’s income increased, the awarding of alimony increased. No-fault divorce began in the state of California in 1970 and that led to changes in alimony. Spousal support was considered a right under the fault-based system but it became conditional under the no-fault approach. Today, every state including Florida has some form of no-fault divorce except for New York.


When a divorce or dissolution of marriage is granted, either party may ask for alimony. It is not an absolute right but it may be granted and the amount and terms vary with each case. A determination is based on the legal argument and testimony submitted by both parties. It can be modified at any future date based on a change of circumstances.

Child Support in Palm Beach County

Alimony is not child support. However, alimony is treated as income to the receiving spouse and it can be deducted from the income of the paying spouse. Recovery and penalty vary, according to different jurisdictions. Someone who allows his child support obligations to go into arrears can be sent to jail.

Types of Florida Alimony

Temporary Alimony – Support that is ordered when the parties are separated prior to divorce.

Rehabilitative Alimony – Support that is given to a lesser earning spouse for a period of time until that individual acquires work and becomes self-sufficient.

Permanent Alimony – Support that is paid to the lesser earning spouse until the death of the payor, the death of the recipient, or the remarriage of the recipient.

Reimbursement Alimony – Support that is given as a reimbursement for expenses incurred by a spouse during the marriage (like educational expenses).

Palm Beach County Alimony Attorney

Do you pay alimony? Are you in arrears? Are you objecting to the payment because it isn’t fair? Are you entitled to alimony? A qualified Palm Beach County family lawyer will help you sort out the details and make things right so you can get on with your new life.

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