Tampa FL Divorce Attorney
If you are anticipating ending your marriage, you may be wondering how to file for alimony. If your spouse earns a higher annual income than yourself, you may qualify for alimony. There is a legal process for filing for alimony just as there is with divorce.
A divorce attorney can represent you during the divorce process, as well as take care of the legal requirements for filing for alimony. One of the first steps will be to determine if you are eligible for alimony. A divorce attorney in Tampa FL can provide you more insight as to whether or not you may qualify. Alimony is not granted in all divorces, and so there is no guarantee for either spouse that they will receive it. Below is a general overview of criteria the court may use to determine one’s alimony eligibility.
The Ability to Earn Income
The court will consider each spouse’s ability to earn income when it comes to determining alimony eligibility. They do not simply look at current earnings; they also examine their ability to earn more income. For example, if someone is working in a restaurant as wait staff but they have a PhD. in computer science, they are probably earning well below their potential. In the meantime, their soon-to-be-ex-spouse has no education at all and has a similar-paying job.
In this scenario, a judge may rule that the spouse with the PhD should pay alimony to the other spouse and will determine a dollar amount based on their potential income rather than current income. There are so many variables when it comes to earned income ability that it can be difficult to know how a judge will rule on your case without first consulting an experienced Tampa FL divorce attorney.
The Ability to Support One’s Self
The court will consider each spouse’s ability to work and thereby earn income. For example, if a person does not have marketable work skills and is at home caring full-time for young children because daycare is not financially practical, the court will not expect them to earn income. This is different than someone who has the work experience and ability to work but chooses to stay at home and not have a job. In these scenarios, the spouse in the first example will be more likely to receive alimony. As your divorce attorney may explain, there are other variables to consider as well:
· If both spouses have the ability to support themselves, then the court may decide neither spouse is eligible.
· If one spouse depended on the other spouse financially during the marriage and is currently not earning income, the court may rule they are eligible to receive alimony until they can earn income. This will only be for a limited and designated amount of time. Your Tampa FL divorce attorney may be able to provide you with an estimate of the amount of alimony and its expected duration.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer You Can Trust
If you are making plans for a divorce action, you may be best served by working with an experienced Tampa FL divorce attorney clients recommend who can protect your best interests. Contact us today and request a free consultation with a divorce lawyer who can review your case at no charge.