Discussions about spousal support often focus on women who have given up a career to raise children. While this is certainly common across Florida, there isn’t anything in the law that says that only women can recover alimony. In fact, the law is entirely gender neutral, meaning that you, as a stay-at-home father, have just as much of a right to seek spousal support as a stay-at-home mother.
So, what do you need to do to position yourself as strongly as possible to recover alimony? Let’s take a closer look.
Equitable distribution of marital assets
First, you’re going to have to deal with the division of marital assets. Florida recognizes equitable distribution, which means you should get a fair, although not necessarily equal, share of those assets. From there, a court will determine your need and, as we discussed previously on the blog, it may order one of any number of types of alimony.
Assessing the standard of living
A major contributing factor to an alimony consideration is the marital standard of living. A court will try its best to provide you with the resources needed to maintain the same standard of living that you enjoyed during your marriage, but that may not always be possible. If it’s not, then the court will try to position you as close to that marital standard of living as possible.
But how does a court assess the marital standard of living? Essentially, the court takes every aspect of your life during your marriage into account. This means that the house that you lived in, the vehicles that you drove, the frequency with which you dined out, the clothes that you wore, and the vacations that you took will be scrutinized. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you have documentation that is indicative of what your life looked like during your marriage. Your own personal accounts can be powerful here, too.
What other evidence will you need?
To properly address your spousal support issue, you’re going to need additional evidence. This may include documentation that demonstrates your soon-to-be ex-wife’s income, testimony about the contributions that you made to the family as well as sacrifices that you made, and evidence demonstrating your inability to maintain the marital standard of living on your own without support.
What you need to watch out for
Keep in mind that most spousal support orders in Florida are temporary in duration. This means that your ex-spouse will likely try to present evidence that will shorten the length of an alimony obligation, even after the court has already issued its order. Therefore, you’ll want to avoid giving the impression that you’re remarried, living with someone else, or capable of obtaining a higher paying job unless those events are actually true. If one of those events occurs, and you have to be honest with your ex-wife and the court, then the spousal support order may be modified or terminated altogether.
Do you need help navigating your alimony challenges?
We know that the divorce process can be emotional, stressful, and frightening, especially when your financial well-being is on the line. But there are concrete steps that you can take to position yourself for a successful marriage dissolution that leaves you on the firm financial footing that you deserve. If you’d like to learn more about the legal strategies that may work for you, then now is the time to reach out to a law firm that has a track record of success in handling these kinds of cases.